Four more cases of E. coli confirmed in Washington outbreak

SEATTLE -- Washington health officials are reporting four more confirmed cases of E. coli in the outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.

That brings the total number of people sickened by E. coli in Washington and Oregon to 41. Oregon also is expected to update its numbers on Wednesday afternoon.

Washington health officials say the illness has apparently spread to one new county in the state, Whatcom County, which is near the Canadian border.

Chipotle says eight restaurants are connected to the outbreak. They have voluntarily closed all Chipotle outlets in Washington state and the restaurants in the Portland, Oregon, area.

There are eight Chipotle franchises across Washington and Oregon associated with the outbreak.

Five of the eight are in Washington.

They include Hazel Dell, 7715 NE 5th Avenue, Suite 109, in Vancouver; 1404 Broadway Avenue in Capitol Hill and 4229 University Way NE in Seattle; 512 Ramsey Way 101 in Kent ; 1753 S. Burlington Blvd. in Burlington.​

“The exact source of illness for this outbreak still remains unknown,” Washington state health officer Kathy Lofy said.

With the help of the FDA, the state is seeking the common denominator of the E. coli outbreak at two different labs.