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Update: 41 E. Coli O26 Cases in OR and WA Associated With Chipotle Restaurants

Nov. 6 update: The Oregon Health Authority stated Friday, Nov. 6, that there are now 13 E. coli O26 illnesses in Oregon connected with eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. That is one more reported case since Thursday. Four people have been hospitalized.

Meanwhile, the Washington State Department of Health has revised its case count down by one person and, as of Friday, Nov, 6, noted 28 related illnesses and 10 hospitalizations in that state, so the total between the two states remains at 41 illnesses.

In a Nov. 5 update on this outbreak from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal agency reported 40 related cases of E. coli O26 (28 in WA and 12 in OR), 10 hospitalizations in WA and two in OR.

CDC’s latest update stated that isolates from 10 of those sickened (seven from WA and three from OR) have been uploaded to the PulseNet database. All 10 were infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O26 (STEC O26) with the same DNA fingerprint. Laboratory testing is continuing, the agency added.

Previous coverage follows:

In an update posted Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that a total of 39 E. coli illnesses are now being reported between Washington state (29) and Oregon (10). (However, the Oregon Health Authority reported 12 cases in that state as of Nov. 3, 2015, which would mean a total of 41 cases.)

Chipotle Mexican Grill sign“Washington and Oregon report that most of the ill people ate at several locations of Chipotle Mexican Grill in those states before getting sick,” CDC stated. The company has voluntarily closed 43 of its restaurants in Oregon and Washington in response to the outbreak.

Several of these illnesses have been identified as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 infections. The age range of those sickened to date is 1 to 67 years.

Some CDC officials and others with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are assisting with the investigation, along with officials from the Washington State Department of Health and the Oregon Health Authority, CDC noted.

CDC also stated that 14 of those sickened (11 in Washington and three in Oregon) have been hospitalized. There have been no reports of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and no deaths, the agency added.

Laboratory testing is ongoing to determine the DNA fingerprint of the STEC O26 bacteria making people sick, according to CDC. These DNA fingerprints are being uploaded to the CDC PulseNet database as they become available.

Five isolates from those sickened (two in Washington and three in Oregon) have been uploaded to the PulseNet database. All five people were infected with STEC O26 that has the same DNA fingerprint, CDC stated.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

Meanwhile, Washington and Oregon health officials are advising residents to see a health provider if they became ill recently after eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant.

People with concerns about eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant location should contact their local health department. At this time, CDC stated that it does not have any information to suggest that Chipotle Mexican Grill locations in other states are affected by this outbreak.

More information about signs and symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection is available on CDC’s Signs & Symptoms page.

The ongoing investigation has not identified the source of these infections. CDC stated that the agency will advise the public if specific steps are identified that consumers can take to protect themselves.

Most people infected with E. coli develop watery or bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps within one to 10 days, with the average three to four days. Most illnesses resolve on their own within seven days. Most people recover within a week but, rarely, some develop a severe type of kidney failure (HUS) which can begin as the diarrhea is improving and is most common in children younger than five years and the elderly.

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