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FDA Blames Mexican Cilantro For Latest Cyclospora Outbreak

Cilantro from Puebla has been blamed for past Cyclospora outbreaks.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says cilantro imported from Puebla, Mexico is likely the cause for hundreds of cases of cyclosporiasis in the last two years.

Human feces and toilet paper were found in cilantro fields in Puebla. The government has banned products from Puebla entering the U-S without inspections and certification.

205 cases of cyclosporiasis have been reported statewide, including more than 40 in North Texas.

From the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department:

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite. The major symptom is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. People who think they may have a Cyclospora infection should contact their health care provider.

DSHS recommends washing fresh produce, though Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off. Cooking will kill the parasite.

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.