E. Coli outbreak

News is spreading about Chipotle’s new health situation. The popular food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has recently been linked to reported cases of E. Coli (Escherichia Coli). ~8949339E. Coli is a bacteria that generally lives in the lower intestines of humans and animals and is not harmful. However, some strains of E. Coli, in this case Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 A.K.A. “STEC 026”, can cause an intestinal infection. Symptoms of an intestinal infection include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. More severe cases have had reported symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, dehydration and sometimes kidney failure. Younger children, older adults, and pregnant women have increased risks of developing complications. E. Coli can be caused by improperly treated food or water, however properly treating food and water, along with good hygiene immensely decrease the risks of getting an intestinal infection.

So far there have been 52 reported cases of E Coli linked to Chipotle. These 52 reported cases are spread out over 9 states. 1 person reported having been infected by STEC 026 in Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. There have been 2 reported cases in Minnesota. California and Ohio both experienced 3 reported cases. In Oregon there have been 13 reported cases. Washington has had the most reported cases with 26. Out of the 52 reported cases there have been zero deaths, however, 20 of the reported cases had to be hospitalized.

47 (90%) of the overall 52 cases, reported to have eaten at Chipotle within a week before they fell ill. Chipotle is working with public health officials to understand the distribution of the food items served at the locations where individuals who contracted STEC 026 ate.

For more information, please go to: http://www.CDC.gov

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