Harris County confirms 5 cases of cyclospora

HARRIS COUNTY - A stomach bug outbreak that has spread across the country is believed to have made its way to Harris County.

Local 2 confirmed five Harris County cases of cyclospora.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed 44 new cases of the stomach bug statewide.  

Now, at least 469 people have gotten sick from across the nation. Of those cases, 171 are in Texas.

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services confirmed five cases from our area have been reported since June 1.

"We don't really know if they're part of this larger cluster or if they're simply popping up because we're doing more testing," said Kathy Barton of HDHHS.

The FDA said packaged salads picked and processed in Mexico, owned by Taylor Farms of Salinas California are the source of the cyclospora outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska. The contaminated mix was served in Olive Gardens and Red Lobster restaurants.

Health officials here have not determined if these local cases are linked to those in 15 other states, but for now they are urging everyone to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables.

"You probably don't want to scrub some of your more fragile produce but rising them vigorously in water will loosen up anything that may be on there," Barton said.

Harris County officials have not yet confirmed that the five local cases are linked to the national outbreak.

You should know the symptoms.

"It is watery diarrhea explosive and prolonged so if you get what you think may be a food borne illness or a diarrhea illness and it lasts more than just a few days you probably need to see your doctor," said Barton.

Click here for a list of symptoms and information on the CDC's complete investigation.

A Texas Woman is the first to file a lawsuit since the outbreak, claiming she became ill after eating at an Olive Garden outside of Dallas.

A spokesperson for the company that owns Red Lobster and Olive Garden said their Texas restaurants are served by a different salad supplier.

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