In a November 9 update, the CDC announced that the 42 people have been sickened with E. coli after eating at Chipotle locations in the Pacific Northwest. The illnesses are spread out over two states, with 27 cases in Washington and 15 cases in Oregon. Only a few Chipotle locations were involved in the outbreak, but as a precaution Chipotle temporarily closed all 43 locations in Oregon and Washington. The locations remain closed. Fourteen people have been hospitalized because of the outbreak, but there have been no reports of death or HUS.
E. coli is a family of bacteria that live in the intestines of animals. Certain strains of E. coli can cause illness in humans if consumed. The strain responsible for the outbreak, E. coli O26, is a rare strain of E. coli. 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.