News Roundup: Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens Dozens Across Texas

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartJuly 4, 2018 1:45 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

An outbreak of illnesses caused by the parasite Cyclospora is prompting a public health investigation. The Texas Department of State Health Services says there have been 56 cases of cyclosporiasis since the beginning of May.

Now, they’re looking into whether those cases may be from a common source.

Often, cyclospora outbreaks are associated with consumption of fresh produce. Past outbreaks have been linked to pre-packaged salad mix, raspberries, cilantro, and basil.

Symptoms are that of a severe stomach illness and include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and low-grade fever that may last over the period of weeks or months.

Right now, the DSHS recommends thoroughly washing all fresh produce to reduce the risk of contracting the parasite. Cooking the produce will also kill the parasite.

The department says there were 319 reported cases of cyclosporiasis in 2017.

One of the largest business groups in the United States is pushing back against the Trump administration’s tariff plan by putting a state-by-state price tag on them. KUT’s Nathan Bernier has more about the numbers for Texas.

The U-S Chamber of Commerce says tariffs imposed by the Trump administration threaten almost $4 billion in Texas exports. The Chamber says more than three million jobs in Texas are supported by foreign trade and it calls tariffs nothing more than a tax increase on American consumers and businesses. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC the president is trying to fix long-term problems to protect American interests and jobs.

“And there obviously is going to be some pulling and tugging as we try to deal with very serious problems. So there will be some hiccups along the way,” Ross said.

Just last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote to President Trump saying retaliatory tariffs by China would punish Texas the most because Texas exports more tariff-eligible goods to China than any other state.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in El Paso say they seized $114 thousand worth of counterfeit World Cup merchandise last week.

Regarding a seizure on Thursday, CB-P spokesperson Reuben Jauregui told El Paso’s KVIA news that the merchandise originated in Asia.

“This shipment came from Hong Kong, we see them coming from overseas,” Jauregui said.

Those jerseys were knockoffs of the Mexican national team uniform, with an estimated value of $66 thousand.

Earlier in the week, CBP officials stopped four other shipments of phony Mexico, Germany and Brazil jerseys.

Officials caution that counterfeit jerseys are of poor quality and could pose health and safety hazards.