Texas health officials advise consumers to wash what they eat

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - Texas Health and Human Services warns consumers to both watch and wash what you eat as a food borne parasite is causing problems for doctors and nurses throughout the state.

"The department of State Health Services has noticed an increase of cases this year, so we just wanted to let everyone know and be aware that this parasite is out there," said Kelsey Tatum, an epidemiologist with the ‎Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District.

The parasite Tatum refers to is known as Cyclospora.  According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, nearly 70 cases have been reported across the Lone Star State in the last month.  The diarrhea-causing organism is often associated with fresh produce.

"Whenever you can, you want to make sure you're washing that fresh produce very well.  Before handling preparing or cooking any foods, you want to make sure that you wash your hands," said Tatum.

While Cyclospora is known for causing diarrhea, Tatum said other symptoms can include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.  As of now, Tatum says that there have been no reported cases in or around the Wichita Falls-Wichita County region.

Copyright 2017 KAUZ News All Rights Reserved