E.coli cases linked to Chipotle continue to rise — 29 confirmed cases so far in Washington

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BURLINGTON, Wash.  -- On Wednesday the state confirmed four more cases of E. coli in Western Washington. That brings the number to 29 confirmed cases in the state so far.

The number could go up with more and more people getting tested.

“As a mother, I couldn’t help my son -- that was the hardest thing,” Saras Singh said.

Singh says for the past three days she and her 16-year-old son have been crippled by nausea.

“I feel like a tornado in my stomach, that’s how I feel,” Singh said.

Singh suspects Chipotle is the reason why.

She's waiting for test results to confirm whether they have E. coli.

“I am still ill. I am going to see the doctor again today; I saw one on Monday,” Singh said.

Also on Monday, Erik Olson rushed to see a doctor after hearing about the outbreak on Q13 FOX News.

“I got kind of scared, called my doctor and they told me to go straight to the ER.

At first, he thought he had the flu but Olson says the ER doctor told him the symptoms appear to be from E. coli.

“Vomiting, nausea, cramps in the stomach” Olson said.

An online order shows Olson picking up a steak burrito packed with fresh produce at the Burlington Chipotle on October 21.

“I think everybody who ate at a Chipotle up to the point of their closure last week could be potentially at risk,” Washington State Health Officer Kathy Lofy said.

Local attorney Bill Marler says a 28-year-old woman who ate at the Burlington Chipotle is one of the latest E. coli cases.
He is already representing the families of two young girls hospitalized after eating at the same restaurant.

Investigators say the E. coli source is likely fresh produce, not meat.

“Uncooked product like lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes or onions, some produce,” Dr. Jeff Duchin said.

But with cross contamination and many different food samples to examine, lab results have yet to pinpoint the exact source of the outbreak.

“I don’t know for sure if we will be able to identify the specific cause of this outbreak because, again, the ingredients are so mixed up,” Duchin said.

“If they can’t figure out what it is and correct the problem, I don’t think I will be eating it,” Olson said.

Since the outbreak, Chipotle voluntarily shut down all its chains in Washington. They are also in the process of testing and replacing food items while employees clean all the restaurants from top to bottom.