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Boston College students fall ill after eating at Chipotle

At least 25 Boston College students, including eight basketball players, became ill after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in Cleveland Circle in Brighton, officials said.

According to a statement from the college, the students complained of gastrointestinal symptoms Sunday and Monday. The college notified the Boston Public Health Commission, and advised students to seek medical attention from student health services or their own physician.

Fifty-two people across nine states have become ill with E. coli from food linked to the Chipotle food chain in a national outbreak, but the Boston Public Health Commission said its data collected from the local outbreak is inconclusive and does not point to E. coli.

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A statement from Chipotle said that there are no confirmed cases of the harmful E. coli bacteria in Massachusetts. The Brighton restaurant is temporarily closed, Chipotle said.

Dr. Anita Barry, director of the infectious disease bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission, said that interviews are being conducted with students to determine what specific food caused the illness.

She said the symptoms students are experiencing are "really not likely to be E. coli. It sounds more like norovirus, or something like that."

Norovirus is a food-borne illness and there are several ways it can contaminate food, she said.

Barry said that the suspected norovirus has not brought any students to the hospital.

The Boston College men's basketball team canceled practice Monday night after its players became sick.

On Sunday afternoon, the team lost, 68-66, to the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The Eagles are scheduled to play Providence Wednesday.


Alexandra Koktsidis can be reached at alexandra.koktsidis@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @akoktsidis.