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All Chipotle restaurants close in Washington and Oregon, health officials investigate 22 possible E. coli cases

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PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority says it is investigating E. coli cases linked to Chipotle restaurants in Oregon and Washington state.

The agency said Saturday that three people in the Portland area and at least 19 people in Washington have become sick after eating at the Mexican food chain since Oct. 14. No deaths have been reported and about one-third of the people have been hospitalized.

Spokesman Jonathan Modie says people have reported symptoms of infection in Clackamas and Washington counties in Oregon, and Clark, King, Skagit and Cowlitz counties in Washington.

A spokesman with Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said Saturday the company was notified that people became sick after eating at six restaurants. Chris Arnold said Chipotle immediately closed all of its restaurants in the area “out of an abundance of caution even though the vast majority of these restaurants have no reported problems.”

In all, 43 restaurants are temporarily closed.

Arnold says Chipotle will work with health officials to determine when to reopen those restaurants and to find the cause.

Symptoms of E. coli can include bloody bowel movements, stomach cramps, fever and vomiting.

In a press conference Saturday, Washington health experts said anyone who has eaten at Chipotle in the last three weeks–then fallen ill–should consult a doctor.