Officials Continue to Investigate Outbreak of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O26 Infections

The Washington State Department of Health and the Oregon Health Authority are investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STEC O26) infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are assisting with the investigation.

As of Nov. 4, 2015, as reported by Washington and Oregon:
- 39 ill people have been reported from Washington (29) and Oregon (10).
- 14 total ill people in Washington (11) and Oregon (3) have been hospitalized.
- There have been no reports of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and no deaths.

Laboratory testing is ongoing to determine the DNA fingerprint of the STEC O26 bacteria making people sick. These DNA fingerprints are being uploaded to the CDC PulseNet database as they become available. Five isolates from ill people in Washington (2) and Oregon (3) have been uploaded to the CDC PulseNet database. All five people were infected with STEC O26 that has the same DNA fingerprint.

The CDC conducted a preliminary search of the PulseNet database and did not find any illnesses that appear to be related to the outbreak in Washington and Oregon. Laboratory testing is continuing.

Washington and Oregon report that most of the ill people ate at several locations of Chipotle Mexican Grill in those states before getting sick. The investigation is ongoing to determine if the ill people ate a common meal item or ingredient that was served at the Chipotle Mexican Grill locations. Chipotle Mexican Grill voluntarily closed all of its restaurants in Washington and multiple locations in the Portland, Oregon area until more information is available.

At this time, the CDC does not have any information to suggest that Chipotle Mexican Grill locations in other states are affected by this outbreak. Washington and Oregon health officials are advising residents to see a health provider if they became ill recently after eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview them.

Source: CDC