TODAY   |  July 31, 2013

Officials focus on salad mix after bug sickens 372

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigators are trying to pinpoint the source of an outbreak of cyclospora, a parasite that causes flu-like symptoms, and officials are focusing on a prepackaged salad mix in at least two of the states where the outbreak has occurred. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> information on the sout break that sickened hundreds of people across the country. one source has been identified. janet is at the centers for disease control in atlanta. janet, good morning to you.

>> reporter: the cdc reporting this morning 372 people have been sickened by scyclospora. they're focussing on a prepackaged salad mix as the possible culprit.

>> investigators are working to pinpoint the course from the outbreak. 372 people have been sickened in 15 states. health officials are making progress. the number of new cases has twindell twi dwindled after a peak in mid june. they identified the source of the outbreak in two states, iowa and nebraska. zeroing in on a prepackaged salad mix with iceberg, romaine lettuce , red cabbage and carrots.

>> we found common distribution networks. common supplies. we believe that it's entirely linked.

>> reporter: officials aren't naming the brands involved but the product has been off super market shelves for more than a month and no longer poses a threat.

>> what we have been consistently telling them is continue to eat salad.

>> reporter: but they're unable to say whether the outbreaks are all related. it can be nasty causing flu-like symptoms that can last up to a month. symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea and fatigue. danny got sick at the end of june after getting take out from a local restaurant. his doctor told him it was cyclospora. in three weeks he lost 12 pounds.

>> it's something i wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. it's bad.

>> reporter: the best way to protect yourself from the bug is to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables and savannah that includes those that have already been washed or say they have already been washed. you should go through that process a second time.

>> all right. thank you very