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Food poisoning sickens 214 toddlers

FOOD poisoning has been blamed for 214 children falling ill in a kindergarten in central China after having lunch on Friday.

None of them was in a critical condition, though 79 of them are still in hospital in Zhoukou City, Henan Province today, according to Xinhua News Agency report.

The food poisoning was caused by a rare diarrheal bacteria, shigella flexneri subserotype 4c, and experts are checking 57 samples of the lunch food, said Zhou Yong, head of the press office of Henan's health department.

The kindergarten, the biggest in Zhoukou, closed on Monday afternoon to prevent further infections.

The kindergarten served its 768 preschoolers steamed noodles, porridge and yoghurt at noon on Friday.

Three toddlers were suffering from fever, vomiting and diarrhea by 2:40pm and were sent to hospital by their parents.

At 3:15pm, a therapist at the kindergarten found 10 more cases and reported this to the head teacher.

The head teacher, the kindergarten's deputy head and the therapist then checked class by class and sent any new cases to the hospital immediately.

After learning of the incident, the kindergarten authority told parents to take their children to hospital for check-ups.

Zhoukou Central Hospital set up a special task force with 18 doctors and 40 nurses as well as 80 beds to accommodate the young patients while the Zhoukou Maternal and Child Care Service Center offered sick infants immediate access to free medical treatment, according to Xinhua news agency.


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