Chipotle norovirus outbreak has spread to 120 Boston College students

Boston College says nearly 120 students have become ill after eating at Chipotle over the weekend.

That’s up from the 30 cases that the college reported on Monday.

Boston health authorities have confirmed that the outbreak is the result of norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness that can be easily transmitted through contact with contaminated people, surface areas, food, or beverages, Boston College said in a statement Wednesday.

Nearly all 120 students who have reported symptoms consistent with norovirus ate at the Chipotle restaurant in Boston’s Cleveland Circle last weekend, according to the school.

The students were tested for both E. coli and norovirus.

“While the tests for E.Coli have not yet been returned, Boston College is focusing its attention on the norovirus outbreak,” the school said.

Chipotle has closed the Boston restaurant where the students ate while health officials investigate

“We do not have any evidence to suggest that this incident is related the previous E. coli incident,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said, referring to an E. coli outbreak linked to its restaurants that has spread to nine states. “There are no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts.”

Norovirus is highly contagious and causes symptoms like stomach aches, nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting. It’s the most common cause of food-borne illnesses in the US with more than 21 million cases annually.

Cases of norovirus stemming from restaurants can often involve a worker who failed to wash his or her hands after going to the bathroom.

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