Chipotle hit with E. Coli outbreak

Chipotle
Chipotle (Wikimedia)

Chipotle is temporally shutting down dozens of its restaurants in Washington and Oregon after the chain was hit with a suspected outbreak of E. coli.

No deaths have been reported, but health officials say Chipotle restaurants under investigation are linked to 19 cases of E. coli illnesses in Washington, with another three cases in Oregon.

Seven Washington patients and one Oregon patient were hospitalized due to illness.

Authorities believe there may be more unreported cases because some people affected may have not have sought medical care.

“We immediately closed all of our restaurants in the area out of an abundance of caution, even though the vast majority of these restaurants have no reported problems,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said in a statement.

The Oregon Health Authority is asking anyone who may have eaten at a Chipotle between October 14 and 23, and become ill with vomiting and bloody diarrhea, to see their health care provider and mention this outbreak.

Most people infected develop watery and/or bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 1-10 days, with the average 3-4 days. Most illnesses resolve on their own within 7 days. Most people recover within a week but, rarely, some develop a severe type of kidney failure that can begin as the diarrhea is improving and is most common in children under five years old and the elderly.

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