Norovirus likely sickened Chipotle customers in Boston

Students sick after Chipotle meals
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Story highlights

  • Boston College says more than 140 students, including members of men's basketball team, got sick
  • The norovirus causes 20 million cases of gastrointestinal illness in U.S. each year
  • The news comes amid an E. coli outbreak linked to other Chipotle Mexican restaurants

(CNN)Tests 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 140 people, including members of the men's basketball team, got sick with symptoms consistent with norovirus. All but 12 of those students confirmed they had eaten at the Chipotle restaurant in Cleveland Circle.
Health officials have said there are no other pathogens present in the specimens tested besides norovirus.
    "The clear expectation is that the illness on campus is limited to the norovirus," Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn said in a statement Thursday.
    The Boston Public Health Commission said earlier there were 80 known cases.
    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 -- had become ill in the E. coli outbreak.