What’s scarier than monsters on Halloween? The knowledge that your favorite place to purchase overpriced guac (so delicious, though) had to close multiple stores because at least 22 people across Oregon and Washington ended up with symptoms of E.coli. Eight of those patients had to be hospitalized.
CNN reports that the source of the contamination has not yet been determined, but that it’s not a coincidence that Chipotle’s been seen as the common factor: All 22 known cases have been linked to a few of the restaurant’s locations. And, just to be safe, the company’s shuttered 43 of their eateries:
“We immediately closed all of our restaurants in the area out of an abundance of caution, even though the vast majority of these restaurants have no reported problems,” said Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold in a statement. Chipotle is working with health departments to help determine the cause of the cases.
Fortunately, no one has been reported as dying from the infection, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t suffering:
Infections with Escherichia coli can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea which is often bloody. Fever is usually low, if at all present, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infections can range from mild to life-threatening.
E. coli bacteria are commonly found in human and animal intestines and are a key component of healthy digestion. Most strains are harmless but some are not, according to the CDC. “Infections start…when you get tiny (usually invisible) amounts of human or animal feces in your mouth,” it says.
Ahh! Human feces and bloody diarrhea? And you thought two bucks for guacamole was bad. Don’t worry too much, though: the stores will likely reopen soon (very important) and, according to these numbers, it’s probably very unlikely too many people were affected.