On November 12, 2015, the CDC released an update regarding the outbreak of E. coli associated with Chipotle restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. Fifty people have now reported cases of illness. These cases remain split up between Washington, with 31 cases, and Oregon, with 11 cases. One person in Minnesota has also tested positive for the specific strain of E. coli, however this case does not appear to be related to the Chipotle outbreak. The investigation has not pinpointed a source of the outbreak, but the investigation is ongoing. There have been no reported cases of HUS, and there have been no deaths reported. In response to the outbreak, Chipotle closed all stores in Oregon and Washington. They began to reopen on November 11, but some locations remain closed.
E. coli is a family of bacteria that live in the intestines of animals. Some strains of E. coli can cause illness in humans if consumed. After infection, symptoms will appear between 3 and 10 days. Symptoms include abdominal cramping, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. E. coli infections can cause a very serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS damages red blood cells, which in turn can cause kidney damage or failure. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of E. coli poisoning, contact a medical professional.