PORTLAND, Ore. — Health officials in Oregon and Washington are investigating an outbreak among people who became ill with Shiga toxin E. coli linked to eating at Chipotle restaurants in the Portland Metro area and several counties in Washington State since October 14.
Presently there are three cases in Oregon and at least 19 in Washington. One third of cases have been hospitalized, there have been no deaths. Ages range from 11-64 years.
People in Clackamas and Washington counties in Oregon, and Clark, King, Skagit and Cowlitz counties in Washington have reported symptoms of infection.
Many people affected with Shiga toxin E. coli may not seek health care, so the number of people made ill by this outbreak is likely more than identified. Health officials want people who have eaten at a Chipotle between October 14 and 23, and become ill with vomiting and bloody diarrhea, to see their health care provider and mention this outbreak.
The Oregon Health Authority, Washington State Department of Health, Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with Multnomah, Clark, Washington and Clackamas Counties.
Chipotle restaurant managers told the Tri-County health officials Friday evening that they would voluntarily closed all restaurants in the four county region.
Most people infected develop watery and/or bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 1-10 days, with the average 3-4 days. Most illnesses resolve on their own within 7 days. Most people recover within a week but, rarely, some develop a severe type of kidney failure that can begin as the diarrhea is improving and is most common in children under five years old and the elderly.
E coli infections can lead to death among younger children if not correctly diagnosed and dealt with VERY quickly.