Number of E. Coli Cases Linked to Chipotle Continues to Rise
The number E. coli food poisoning cases linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc continues to rise in Washington state and Oregon.
According to Reuters News Agency, confirmed cases rose to 40 in both states as Oregon moved up from 10 to 12 cases, despite Washington lowering its count to 28 after tests ruled out one case that was suspected to be linked.
Seattle and Portland Chipotle Locations Closed
Health safety officials are still searching for the source of the contamination that has been linked to eight Chipotle restaurants in the greater Seattle and Portland area.
All Chipotle restaurants in that market, 43 total, have been closed since October 31st as a precaution.
The exact source of the E. coli has not yet been confirmed, but investigators suspect that it is one of the proteins regularly served at the restaurants.
Symptoms of E. Coli Poisoning
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of STEC infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.
If there is fever, it usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/less than 38.5˚C). Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.
What to do if You Display E. Coli Symptoms
STEC infections are usually diagnosed through laboratory testing of stool specimens (feces). Identifying the specific strain of STEC is essential for public health purposes, such as finding outbreaks.
Many labs can determine if STEC are present, and most can identify E. coli O157. Labs that test for the presence of Shiga toxins in stool can detect non-O157 STEC infections.
However, for the O group (serogroup) and other characteristics of non-O157 STEC to be identified, Shiga toxin-positive specimens must be sent to a state public health laboratory.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days, or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.