Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Boston Students Afflicted by Chipotle-Linked Outbreak Top 120

  • Symptoms are consistent with norovirus, Boston College says
  • Almost all of the students ate at local Chipotle restaurant

An outbreak of illness linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has now afflicted more than 120 Boston College students, with local public-health officials pointing to norovirus as the cause.

Several of the students visited local hospitals, though they’ve since been released, according to Jack Dunn, a spokesman for the school. Almost all of the students, who have showing symptoms consistent with norovirus, said they ate at a local Chipotle in the Cleveland Circle area during the past weekend, he said.

Chipotle was already dealing with the fallout from an E. coli outbreak that has sickened dozens of customers in nine states. The Boston investigation has allayed fears that the E. coli strain has spread there as well, though the tests for the bacteria haven’t yet been returned, Dunn said.

“Boston Public Health authorities have confirmed the presence of norovirus among Boston College students,” he said in an e-mail. “While the tests for E. coli have not yet been returned, Boston College is focusing its attention on the norovirus outbreak.”

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It’s the leading cause of outbreaks from contaminated food in the U.S., making about 20 million people sick a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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