The E. coli O26 outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in six states hasn’t been updated in more than 10 days. This outbreak has been strange. The case count grew to include 50 patients, then that number was reduced to 37. Then the case count grew to 45 patients, and four more states were added to the outbreak base.
As of November 20, 2015, there are 45 people sickened in six states. The case count per state is: California (2), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (13), and Washington state (26). There are no reports of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths.
No food or environmental samples have yielded the outbreak strain of the shiga toxin-producing bacteria. But 43, or 96%, of ill patients said they ate at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant the week before they got sick. Epidemiologic evidence “suggests that a meal item or ingredient served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in several states ia likely source of this outbreak,” according to the CDC. Chipotle restaurants in the Northwest United States were closed for days while the facilities were cleaned, food was discarded, and workers were given training on safe food handling.
The case count numbers changed because the CDC is only reporting persons confirmed by PulseNet, the nationwide bacterial infection database, as being infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O26.
Illness start dates range from October 19, 2015 to November 8, 2015. Any illnesses that began in November may not be reported to public health officials yet.
The Chipotle restaurants involved in this outbreak are: located at 3090 Countryside Drive in Turlock, California; at 728 County Road 42 W in Burnhaven, Minnesota; at 1643 Niagra Falls Blvd. in Amherst, New York; at 24369 Cedar Road in Lyndhurst – Legacy Village, Ohio; at 7683 West Ridgewood Drive in Parma, Ohio; and at 3890 Medina Road in Akron, Ohio. The restaurants in Oregon are located at 2065 NE Burnside Rd. in Gresham, 12130 SE 82nd Ave. Clackamas Town Center in Happy Valley, 2048 NW Stucki Ave. in Hillsboro, 8 Centrepoint Dr. Kruse Way in Lake Oswego, 9687 NE Cascades Pkwy in Portland, and 9120 SW Hall Blvd, Washington Square in Portland. The Chipotle restaurants in Washington state are located at 1753 Burlington Blvd. in Burlington, 512 Ramsay Way, Ste. 101 in Kent, 1415 Broadway Ave. Capitol Hill in Seattle, 4229 University Way NE The Ave in Seattle, and 7715 NE 5th Ave. Hazel Dell in Vancouver.
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea that is usually bloody and/or watery, a mild fever, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually begin three to seven days after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. This illness can progress to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) if improperly treated with antibiotics, or if the patient is under the age of 5 or has underlying health conditions.
The symptoms of HUS include pale skin, lethargy, little to no urine output, easy bruising, a skin rash, and bleeding from the nose and mouth. If anyone experiences these symptoms they should be taken to a doctor immediately. HUS can cause kidney failure and death.
If you ate at a Chipotle restaurant and have experienced these symptoms, see your doctor. The long term complications of this infection can be serious, including irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, and kidney problems.
A law firm has filed a lawsuit against Chipotle on behalf of a woman who ate at one of those restaurants in Vancouver in October 2015. She was diagnosed with an E. coli infection several days later.