Some 43 Chipotle restaurants in several counties in Oregon and Washington have been closed while health officials investigate an outbreak of Shiga toxin E. coli that has sickened 22 people, hospitalizing eight.
As of October 31, there are three cases in Oregon and at least 19 in Washington.
Four cases were reported in King County, nine in Clark County, one in Cowlitz County, and five in Skagit County in Washington and Clackamas and Washington counties in Oregon.
While the outbreak appears to be linked to food served at Chipotle restaurants, the food or other source of contamination hasn’t yet been determined and remains under investigation.
“Anyone who thinks they may have become ill from eating at a Chipotle restaurant in the past three weeks should consult their healthcare provider,” said Washington State Epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist. “The elderly and very young children are more likely to become severely ill from this kind of E. coli infection.”
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.