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Number of illnesses connected to Chipotle outlet rises

The number of illnesses linked to a Chipotle Mexican Grill continues to rise, as health officials work to pinpoint how the disease, believed to be norovirus, was transmitted.

Boston College reported Wednesday that 120 of its students said they had fallen ill with gastrointestinal illness, up from 80 the previous day. BC said nearly all confirmed they had eaten at the Chipotle in Cleveland Circle, which the city ordered closed on Monday.

The Boston Public Health Commission confirmed only 80 cases (up from 65 Tuesday) connected to the restaurant. Of them, 75 were BC students.

Ché Knight, health commission spokeswoman, said officials are sorting through cases reported by BC and the number could rise. Additionally, Knight said, some ill individuals may have caught the highly infectious disease from classmates.


BC spokesman Jack Dunn said the men's basketball team, which had to cancel practice Monday because at least eight were sick, was to play Wednesday night in Providence, with all players fully recovered.

In an e-mail Wednesday to people connected with Boston College, Dr. Thomas Nary, director of health services, said the cleaning staff is making extra efforts to sanitize restrooms, dining halls, residence halls, offices, and athletic facilities. And, all dining locations stopped self-service, such as salad bars, at noon Wednesday. Students were advised on hygiene to prevent further spread.

At least three other state communities sent inspectors to check on Chipotle outlets in the wake of the Boston illnesses. Food inspection officials in Cambridge, Framingham, and Waltham told the Globe on Wednesday they found no major problems at Chipotle restaurants in their jurisdictions.

In Brookline this year, inspection of the Chipotle on Commonwealth Avenue found a serious violation — failure to have a manager certified in food safety — which was not resolved until recently, said Alan Balsam, town director of public health and human services.


Felice J. Freyer can be reached at felice.freyer@globe.com.