Chipotle E. coli Outbreak Link Is Under Investigation – Washington and Oregon public health officials are currently investigating an E. coli outbreak that may be linked to certain Chipotle restaurants in Washington state. Nineteen of those sickened reside in Washington and three more reside in Oregon. Seven of the Washington patients and one Oregon patient have been hospitalized.
Multiple Chilpotle Restaurants Close While Health Officials Investigate The Outbreak
Multiple Chipotle restaurants in Washington have closed while the outbreak of E. coli illnesses is under investigation. The Oregon State Health Department indicated that the closed restaurants are in the Portland Metro area or several other counties in Washington, stating that “Chipotle restaurant managers told the Tri-County health officials Friday evening that they would voluntarily close all restaurants in the four county region.” The restaurants are likely to remain closed until futher information regarding the cause of the outbreak becomes available.
Both state health departments reported that the E. coli outbreak appears to be linked to eating food at Chipotle restaurants, although the source of contamination has not yet been identified. Washington and Oregon local and state health officials are currently working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Washington State Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate the outbreak.
Counties Reporting E. coli Illnesses
According to the Washington State Health Department press release, four illnesses were reported in King County, nine in Clark County, one in Cowlitz County, and five in Skagit County. Oregon state health officials reported in their press release that the three persons sickened in their state reside in Clackmas and Washington counties.
About E. coli Food Poisoning and E. coli Symptoms
Escherichia coli or E. coli is a type of bacterium that lives in the intestines of healthy humans and animals. While many strains of E. coli are harmless, some strains are capable of producing a powerful toxin, known as Shiga toxin, and can cause severe, life-threatening illness. These pathogenic strains of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli are often referred to as “STEC.”
Symptoms of E. coli infection may include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Sometimes a low-grade fever is present. Children and the elderly are at greatest risk for suffering complications resulting from E. coli infection, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombocytopenia purpura (TTP).
Diagnosing An E. coli Infection
A diagnosis of E. coli foodborne illness can usually be confirmed by performing a stool culture, a type of laboratory test that can detect the presence of the pathogenic bacterium in an infected person’s stool.
Washington State Health Department Advice
Washington State health officials advised the public to seek medical attention if they may have been sickened in the outbreak. According to State Epidemiologist, Dr. Scott Lindquist, “Anyone who thinks they may have become ill from eating at a Chipotle restaurant in the past three weeks should consult their healthcare provider. The elderly and very young children are more likely to become severely ill from this kind of E. coli infection.”
Chipotle E. coli Outbreak – Contact The Weinberg Law Firm For E. coli Lawsuit Help
The Weinberg Law Firm is currently assisting victims of food poisoning outbreaks nationwide, including those sickened in the Chipotle E. coli outbreak. If you or a loved one was sickened and you have a question regarding an E. coli lawsuit please call our law firm at 1-877-934-6274 for a free legal case evaluation. You can also contact us online by using the “Free Legal Case Evaluation Form” found on this page.