Approximately 69 Marine recruits have been sickened in an E. Coli outbreak at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego (MCRD), according to an update Friday.
The recruits currently undergoing treatment also included 14 new cases among more than 5,000 recruits in training.
Nine out of 17 recruits getting treatment at off-base medical facilities have developed a complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) due to the outbreak, according to officials.
Officials called it a very serious concern.
The E. Coli exposure affects both MCRD San Diego and the command field's training facilities at Edson Range on Camp Pendleton.
The outbreak was first announced Monday when diarrheal illness sickened more than 300 Marine recruits, an MCRD spokesperson said.
Since then, dozens of recruits have recovered. Thursday, officials confirmed 86 recruits remained sick due to the outbreak but the number decreased to 69 Friday.
An investigation is underway to determine the source of the E. Coli bacteria.
While the command searches for the source of the outbreak, they will implement the following preventative actions:
- Recruits with E. Coli symptoms will be isolated to prevent spreading the sickness to their peers.
- There will be increased hygiene requirements with an emphasis on handwashing.
- MCRD San Diego will undergo extensive cleaning to ensure proper sanitization.
- Naval Medical Center San Diego's Preventative Medicine Unit will inspect barracks, chow halls and common areas.
- Recruits will receive guidance on how to identify symptoms.
The MCRD will notify families if the outbreak affects a recruit's graduation date due to missed training.
Officials will provide additional updates to keep families informed on Twitter until the outbreak subsides.