The Massachusetts Department of Health has announced that there has been as foodborne illness outbreak at Boston College. At least 120 students have been sickened by norovirus. Early reports indicated that the pathogen responsible for the outbreak was E. coli O26, but subsequent testing revealed that it was actually norovirus.
This outbreak has been linked to a Chipotle at Cleveland Circle. At least 80 of the 120 students infected with norovirus reported eating at the Chipotle location prior to getting sick. Chipotle voluntarily closed the location after the reports of illness began to surface. The City of Boston inspected the location and found numerous health violations. Meats on the service line were kept between 12 and 14 degrees lower than the minimum required by health officials. Health officials also uncovered that an employee worked at the restaurant while sick.
Norovirus is a virus that causes illness in humans. It is a very common source of illness, and infects 19-21 million people per year in the United States. It usually occurs after contact with contaminated food, water, or people. Symptoms of a norovirus infection will appear between 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the pathogen and will include stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. Norovirus is a very contagious pathogen. Those infected with the virus should be wary of going out into public. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of norovirus poisoning, contact a medical professional.