Boston College now says 80 students ill after eating at Chipotle

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Chipotle Claims Boston Illnesses Looks Like Norovirus: RTRS

(Reuters) - Boston College said on Tuesday eighty students fell sick after eating at a ChipotleMexican Grill Inc <CMG.N> restaurant this weekend, but the company said the outbreak appeared to be limited to one outlet and not caused by E. coli.

Boston College had said on Monday that thirty students had taken ill after eating at the restaurant in Boston's Cleveland Circle and Chipotle said it had temporarily shut the outlet.

SEE ALSO:Food-borne bacteria: The 6 riskiest foods to eat

Chipotle, which is grappling with a states-wide E. coli outbreak linked to its burrito chain, said the Boston illnesses were likely caused by norovirus, not E. coli, and that it would not shutter any other outlets in the city.

"There are no reports of illness from any other restaurants, and the pattern here looks like norovirus isolated to one restaurant," spokesman Chris Arnold told Reuters on Tuesday.

Chipotle has come under scrutiny since November after it was linked to an E. coli outbreak in nine U.S. states, raising concerns about the fast-growing company's continued success and the damage to its brand.

See more about the Chipotle E. coli closings:

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Chipotle closings because of E.coli
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Boston College now says 80 students ill after eating at Chipotle
Passers-by walk near a closed Chipotle restaurant on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in the Cleveland Circle neighborhood of Boston. Chipotle said late Monday that it closed the restaurant after several students at Boston College, including members of the menâs basketball team, reported âgastrointestinal symptomsâ after eating at the chain. The school said it was working with local health officials to determine the cause of the illness. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
A sign is posted on the door to a Chipotle restaurant, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in the Cleveland Circle neighborhood of Boston. Chipotle said late Monday that it closed the restaurant after several students at Boston College, including members of the menâs basketball team, reported âgastrointestinal symptomsâ after eating at the chain. The school said it was working with local health officials to determine the cause of the illness. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
A customer leaves a Chipotle restaurant in Seattle as the company started to reopen the outlets closed because of an E. coli outbreak in the Pacific Northwest, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Donna Blankinship)
Customers leave a Chipotle restaurant with food in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Chipotle started reopening its restaurants in the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday after an E. coli outbreak sickened about 45 people, a high-profile example of foodborne illnesses that are more common than the public realizes, health experts say. Forty-three outposts of the Mexican food chain in Washington state and the Portland, Oregon, area were closed at the end of October because of the outbreak that hospitalized more than a dozen people. The first restaurants opened for lunch Wednesday. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
A customer enjoys lunch at a Chipotle restaurant in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Chipotle started reopening its restaurants in the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday after an E. coli outbreak sickened about 45 people, a high-profile example of foodborne illnesses that are more common than the public realizes, health experts say. Forty-three outposts of the Mexican food chain in Washington state and the Portland, Oregon, area were closed at the end of October because of the outbreak that hospitalized more than a dozen people. The first restaurants opened for lunch Wednesday. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Rosanna Fleming enters a Chipotle restaurant for lunch as another customer enters a second door in the background in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. Chipotle started reopening its restaurants in the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday after an E. coli outbreak sickened about 45 people, a high-profile example of foodborne illnesses that are more common than the public realizes, health experts say. Forty-three outposts of the Mexican food chain in Washington state and the Portland, Oregon, area were closed at the end of October because of the outbreak that hospitalized more than a dozen people. The first restaurants opened for lunch Wednesday. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Workers clean inside a still-closed Chipotle restaurant Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Seattle. Health officials in Washington and Oregon have said that more than three dozen people have gotten sick with E. coli in an outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the two states. More than 40 Chipotle restaurants remain closed in Washington state and the Portland area while authorities search for the cause. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2015, file photo, pedestrians walk past a still-closed Chipotle restaurant in Seattle. An outbreak of E. coli that originated in the Pacific Northwest has spread south and east and has now infected people in six states. New cases have been reported in California, New York and Ohio, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
A worker sits at a counter inside a still-closed Chipotle restaurant Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Seattle. Health officials in Washington and Oregon have said that more than three dozen people have gotten sick with E. coli in an outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the two states. More than 40 Chipotle restaurants remain closed in Washington state and the Portland area while authorities search for the cause. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Workers clean inside a still-closed Chipotle restaurant Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Seattle. Health officials in Washington and Oregon have said that more than three dozen people have gotten sick with E. coli in an outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in the two states. More than 40 Chipotle restaurants remain closed in Washington state and the Portland area while authorities search for the cause. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A closed Chipotle restaurant is shown, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Federal Way, Wash. Chipotle closed 43 of its Pacific Northwest locations after the chain's third foodborne illness this year sickened about two dozen people. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A pedestrian, right, walks past a closed Chipotle restaurant Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, in Seattle. An E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon has sickened nearly two dozen people in the third outbreak of foodborne illness at the popular chain this year. Cases of the bacterial illness were traced to six of the fast-casual Mexican food restaurants, but the company voluntarily closed down 43 of its locations in the two states as a precaution. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A sign posted on the door of a Chipotle restaurant in Portland, Ore. reads that the location is "temporarily closed due to a supply chain issue," on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. An E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon has sickened nearly two dozen people in the third outbreak of food borne illness at the popular chain this year. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2015, file photo, a pedestrian walks past a closed Chipotle restaurant in Seattle. Washington state health officials say they have found no source for the E. coli outbreak related to Chipotle and the chain's Pacific Northwest restaurants could reopen later this week. Washington state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist says all the tests of food from Chipotle stores in Washington and Oregon came back negative for E. coli. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
A woman talks on the phone as she stands in the kitchen area of a closed Chipotle restaurant, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, in Seattle. An E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon has sickened nearly two dozen people in the third outbreak of foodborne illness at the popular chain this year. Cases of the bacterial illness were traced to six of the fast-casual Mexican food restaurants, but the company voluntarily closed down 43 of its locations in the two states as a precaution. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Signage hangs from a closed Chipotle restaurant in Portland, Ore., Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. Chipotle voluntarily closed down 43 of its locations in Washington and the Portland area as a precaution after an E. coli outbreak linked to six of its restaurants in the two states has sickened nearly two dozen people. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
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Norovirus is a common cause of food-borne illnesses and has symptoms similar to E. coli, which are bacteria commonly found in the intestines, some strains of which can cause severe food poisoning. Norovirus can be contracted from an infected person or from contaminated food, water or surfaces.

Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn said on the Tuesday that affected students have been tested for E. coli and norovirus, and that the results are not expected for at least two days.

If the incident in Boston does turn out to be linked to norovirus, then that would not be as serious as E. coli, Maxim Group analyst Stephen Anderson told Reuters.

The Boston incident is a "near-term negative reinforcement", when viewed along with the E. coli incidents in Chipotle's restaurants and other health-related issues the company has dealt with since the summer, Anderson said.

Chipotle's shares fell as much as 5.4 percent in early trading on Tuesday, but has since recovered some of their losses to trade down 1.8 percent at $542 in the afternoon session.

The stock had fallen more than $100, or 14 percent, since November when reports of an outbreak in Washington and Oregon first emerged.

Since then cases have been reported in Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota, New York and Ohio.

Chipotle warned last week that the outbreak would likely cause same-restaurant sales to fall for the first time in company's history in the current quarter.

The company also said sales could be battered by additional reports of illness.

See "risky" foods that can cause illnesses:
11 PHOTOS
Risky foods to eat, food-borne illnesses
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Boston College now says 80 students ill after eating at Chipotle
In this Aug. 16, 2007 file photo, a worker harvests romaine lettuce in Salinas, Calif. Leafy green vegetables were the leading source of food poisoning over an 11-year period, federal health officials say, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. However, the most food-related deaths were from contaminated chicken and other poultry. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
Salmonella can enter tomatoes through cracks and bruises in the fruit's skin. (Photo via Getty Images)
Raw fish, like in sushi and sashimi, carries a risk of salmonella. (Photo via Getty Images)
Fermented foods such as soy sauce can be a breeding ground for flies if they are not covered properly. (Photo via Getty Images)
Raw or undercooked eggs are linked to salmonella. (Photo by Russel Wasserfall, Getty Images)
Many wild mushrooms are poisonous to humans; be cautious of where you get them from. (Photo by Adam Gault, Getty Images)
The seeds of many fruits contain toxins that can be poisonous if consumed. (Photo via Tetra Images/Getty Images)
Oysters have been linked to several illness outbreaks, as they are often consumed raw and can carry any viruses from the water they were in. (Photo via Getty Images)
Soft cheeses, like brie and feta, can carry listeria. (Photo via Getty Images)
Sprouts require humid conditions to grow, which can also spur bacteria growth. (Photo by Tom Grill via Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik and Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Savio D'Souza)​

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