Boston College: More Than 140 Students Ill From Norovirus Linked to Chipotle Restaurant

Officials at Boston College said Thursday the number of students sickened by norovirus after eating at a local Chipotle restaurant has risen to 141.

A dozen other students who did not eat at the Mexican fast-food chain's Cleveland Circle location have also reported norovirus symptoms, college officials said.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has told the college there have been no other pathogens found in lab tests; however, some specimens still need to be tested, according to school officials.

Public health officials mentioned earlier this week that non-students were also sickened by the norovirus; however, the number of ill non-students is unclear.

Norovirus can spread from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. It is very contagious and can spread quickly in places such as daycare centers and cruise ships.

According to a report from the Boston Inspectional Services department, which is responsible for inspecting the city's restaurants, an employee at the Chipotle restaurant in Cleveland Circle was sick while working a shift Thursday.

William Christopher, the department's commissioner, said the restaurant's permit to operate has been suspended by the city and that a disinfection process has begun. The restaurant was cited for health violations.

A spokesman for Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has said the Boston College illnesses are likely an isolated case of norovirus and unrelated to the E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 52 people in nine states.

Chipotle founder and CEO Steve Ells told NBC's "TODAY" show Thursday morning he's "deeply sorry" for the illnesses and that the chain is taking measures to ensure no future outbreaks occur.

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