Prepackaged salad mix has been pinpointed as the source of an outbreak of cyclospora -- an intestinal illness tied to a rare type of parasite -- that has sickened hundreds of people across the country. More than 100 people in Iowa and 78 in Nebraska have fallen ill with the disease. According to CNN
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Health officials say new cases of cyclospora are reported daily and investigators in both states have determined that a bagged blend of iceberg and romaine lettuce, red cabbage and carrots is to blame, noting the mix had been prewashed.
The unusual parasite can cause weeks of severe diarrhea and other ailments. As of August 1, 2013, federal officials have totaled 372 confirmed cases in 16 states since mid-June. Iowa leads the way with 145. Experts say that for each confirmed case, there probably are several other people who became ill but either have not gone to the doctor or weren’t tested.
The FDA said in a statement: “FDA will continue to work with its federal, state and local partners in the investigation to determine whether this conclusion applies to the increased number of cases of cyclosporiasis in other states… The goal will be to combine information collected from other affected states with that provided by the state health authorities in Iowa to identify a specific food item linked to the illnesses.”
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