E-Coli Outbreak at MCRD San Diego- Hundreds sickened

By Faye Higbee

USMC Life reports that an e-coli outbreak at MCRD – Marine Corps Recruiting Depot- San Diego has sickened hundreds of Marines. Marine Corps officials are working to identify the cause of the outbreak, and have increased inspections in common areas.

So far, 302 recruits have become ill with the bacterial e-coli sickness. MCRD posted the notification their Facebook page, which reads in part:

“Our immediate focus is identifying, isolating and treating recruits who present symptoms,” said Brig. Gen. William Jurney, commanding general, MCRD San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region. “We are working to identify the cause of the sickness, making sure our affected recruits can return to training as soon as possible and continuing training for recruits not influenced.”

The affected recruits were quarantined, and efforts were made to increase hygiene requirements such as handwashing.

As of November 1, the number of recruits being treated was down to 214, according to the base Twitter account.

Of the 214 reported on November 1, 26 of the cases are new ones. There are more than 5,500 recruits at MCRD, and they train both there and at Edson Range at Camp Pendleton. Cases of the illness were reported in both places.

Medical officials have altered the diets of the affected personnel to help them recover.

Samples and specimens have been forwarded to the US Army Public Health Command at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. It is hoped that the cause of the outbreak can be determined by forensic examination.

Preventative Medicine Units  at Naval Medical Center and Camp Pendleton’s Naval Hospital are inspecting all mess facilities areas for “cleanliness, food storage, and food handling procedures.”

The base has promised that if a recruit’s graduation from the program is delayed by the illness, they will notify family members.


Featured photo: Marine Corps – Lima Company 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. Photo by Cpl Angelica I. Annastas