There is something in the water in Texas. It's poop. And it's also on fruits and vegetables.
The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department is investigating an intestinal virus outbreak, with 15 confirmed and probable cases of Cyclospora infection. In the last week, 42 cases have been reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services. In the US, such outbreaks are usually associated with imported produce, but so far, authorities have not identified a particular poopy food culprit.
Cyclosporiasis, in scientific terms, comes from eating someone else's doo-doo. Generally, that happens when leafy greens or berries are consumed without proper washing after they've been tainted by human feces, usually as fertilizer. According to the Mayo Clinic, Cyclospora infection leads to "watery, and sometimes explosive, diarrhea." Which is gross, but makes a funny pun if you turn the whole thing into "Eat shit and diarrhea."
Infection isn't a joke, however, and can lead to other flu-like symptoms, though they may take up to a week to rear their ugly... rears?
For more information on Cyclospora, check out the CDC's website. And if you think you may be infected, contact a healthcare provider... and go find a toilet.
Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Senior News Editor. The poop jokes were too easy in this article. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.