Federal, state, and local health officials are investigating the source of an E. coli outbreak associated with Chipotle restaurants in Oregon and Washington. There are 22 people sick and 8 people in the hospital. They are spread out over four Washington counties and two Oregon counties. Those affected reported eating at Chipotle between October 14 and October 23. In response, Chipotle has closed all 43 locations in Washington and Oregon.
E. coli are a family of bacteria that is found in the intestines of many animals. Some strains of the bacteria that are found in the intestines of cattle can cause infection in humans. This can happen when contaminated food is consumed. Most outbreaks are caused by contaminated produce. Symptoms can appear between 3 and 10 days after infection, and will include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. E. coli infections can be very serious. The infection may cause a 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.