Boston College says 80 students have become ill after eating at Chipotle over the weekend.
That’s up from the 30 cases that the college reported on Monday.
Chipotle says its unlikely that the illness are related to the E. coli outbreak linked to its restaurants that has spread to nine states.
The new cases are more likely the result of norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness that can be easily transmitted through contact with infected people, surface areas, food, or beverages, a Chipotle spokesman said.
“We do not have any evidence to suggest that this incident is related the previous E. coli incident,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said. “There are no confirmed cases of E. coli connected to Chipotle in Massachusetts.”
Boston College said all 80 students who reported falling ill after eating at Chipotle have been tested for both E. coli and norovirus, and the results won’t be available for at least two days.
Chipotle has closed the Boston restaurant where the students ate while health officials investigate.
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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