E. Coli Outbreak In Washington, Oregon Shutters Dozens Of Chipotle Stores
After nearly two-dozen cases of E. coli were reported in the Pacific Northwest, health officials have closed down a number of Chipotle restaurants as they investigate the cause of the outbreak.
According to reports, three people in Portland and 19 people in western Washington state were diagnosed with E. coli. According to Reuters, 17 of those had eaten at a Chipotle restaurant during the past few weeks.
Eight people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.
After an initial investigation, health officials have closed down 43 Chipotle stores spanning both Portland and Washington state. While the investigation is ongoing, it’s believed the outbreak resulted “from a fresh food product delivered to Chipotle restaurants and other places,” Reuters reported.
Health officials expect the number sickened by the disease to increase as word of the outbreak spreads and more people visit their doctor to receive a diagnosis.
Marisa D’Angeli, a medical epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, is encouraging anyone with intestinal symptoms who have eaten at Chipotle in the last few weeks to go see their doctor.
Another symptom might include bloody diarrhea, which D’Angeli recommends individuals should visit a doctor whether they’ve eaten at Chipotle or not. More symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
According to WebMD, there are many types of E. coli bacteria, most of which are harmless. But certain strains can cause bloody diarrhea, while more severe strains can cause anemia or kidney failure, which can lead to death. Other strains can cause urinary tract infections.