Tests show Norovirus, not E. Coli sickened more than 120 people

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BOSTON — Initial testing of people who got sick after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in Boston showed the presence of norovirus, health authorities said.

Boston College said more than 120 students, including members of the men’s basketball team, got sick with symptoms consistent with norovirus. The Boston Public Health Commission reported 65 known cases.

“While the tests for E. coli have not yet been returned, Boston College is focusing its attention on the norovirus outbreak,” Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn said in a statement Tuesday.

The norovirus causes 20 million cases of gastrointestinal illness in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We urge residents to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of illness, which include: washing your hands regularly, avoiding close contact or sharing food and drink with others who might be ill, and staying home if you are ill,” the Boston commission said in a statement, announcing initial results.

The news comes amid an E. coli outbreak linked to other Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants that has made people sick in at least nine states since October.

The company said it had no evidence to suggest a connection between that outbreak and the Boston incident. It temporarily closed its Cleveland Circle location, where the students ate, while health officials investigated.

The CDC said last week that 52 people in nine states — Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Washington — have become ill in the E. coli outbreak.

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