The incidence of food-borne illnesses in the Rio Grande Valley far exceeds statewide figures. While some say this is because of proximity to Mexico, incidence rates in the border counties of El Paso and Laredo say otherwise.

For five consecutive years, Texas Department of State Health Services data shows the Valley has had much higher rates of food-borne illness, such as hepatitis A and salmonella, reports the Brownsville Herald.

Figures provided by the state health department are only based on confirmed cases reported by local doctors. There may be cases that are not reported, so actual rates may be even higher than reported rates.