Cinnaminson, NJ, August 7, 2017
Last month, a noticeable increase in the number of infections due to Cyclospora prompted the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to ask health care providers to be on guard for the illness, pursue testing and report cases to their local health department. This request was made after the agency became aware of 68 cases within the previous month that were reported across Texas.
Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis, a parasite composed of one cell. DSHS reports that the intestinal illness is caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the microscopic parasite. The primary symptom is watery diarrhea that lasts from a few days to several months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. Symptoms may come and go multiple times over a period of weeks or months. Some people who become infected do not have any symptoms.
Cyclospora needs time (days to weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious for another person. Therefore, it is unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another.
“Many past outbreaks of the infection have been linked to imported produce,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In Texas, specific outbreaks have been associated with contaminated cilantro on several occasions. Other nationwide outbreaks have been linked to pre-packaged salads, raspberries, basil, snow peas and mesclun greens.”
To help prevent foodborne illnesses or to identify the source of an outbreak that has already occurred to prevent further infections, EMSL provides Cyclospora testing of vegetables and other food items as well as from all types of environmental samples. They have also sponsored an educational video about Cyclospora and infection risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/dVFRgmZpTfQ.
To learn more about testing for Cyclospora or other microbial, food and environmental testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.