There are now 25 confirmed cases of E. coli in Washington state, 12 more in Oregon. Most of the cases are linked to Chipotle Restaurants.
Officials have identified the strain that’s responsible for the outbreak: E. coli 026. Washington state health officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said this strain produces Shiga toxins, which can cause serious illness, including sever abdominal cramps, diarrhea which is often bloody, vomiting, kidney damage and other issues.
Lofy said to date, nine people have been hospitalized, but none have suffered complications and no one has died.
Health officials are still working to find the source of the outbreak. They’ve collected food samples from the restaurants, including produce items and spices.
- Vancouver: Hazel Dell, 7715 N.E. Fifth Ave., Suite 109
- Seattle: 1404 Broadway Ave.
- Seattle: 4229 University Way N.E.
- Kent: 512 Ramsey Way 101
- Burlington: 1753 S. Burlington Blvd.
Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Seattle-King County Public Health, said tracing the source of the outbreak at Chipotle is hard and will take time.
“They’re complicated dishes with multiple ingredients and many of the dishes use the same ingredients,” said Duchin. “And that really limits our ability to tease out from the food history what might be the culprit.”
Investigators will trace back where the food came from and where it was distributed for additional clues.