My aunt contracted Cyclospora from basil in Florida about a decade ago.
It’s not fun.
The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department is investigating an outbreak of Cyclospora, an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite.
As of today, the department has 15 confirmed and probable cases and 11 new cases that are currently under investigation. Within the past week, 42 cases of Cyclospora infection have been reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Cyclospora is spread by people ingesting something – such as food or water – that was contaminated with feces (stool). 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.
In the United States, foodborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce including berries and leafy greens. At this time, no particular food item has been identified. It is recommended that residents thoroughly wash fresh produce.
Washing doesn’t do much.