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August 12, 2009

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Parents can't visit kids suffering mystery illness

NEARLY 100 students at a middle school in Henan Province suffered vomiting, fever and diarrhea over the past few days, but authorities have refused to reveal what caused their sicknesses - and refused to allow parents to visit their kids in the hospital, the Henan Business Daily reported yesterday.

The students had been attending special summer lessons at the Xinghua School in Xinmi City.

One mother said her 14-year-old son fell ill last Saturday and was sent to a hospital the next day.

"The health and education authorities didn't tell us the cause of the illness or let us visit our children," the mother, surnamed Zhao, was quoted as saying.

She also said authorities refused to let her transfer her son to another hospital. Four guards were stopping parents and reporters from entering the hospital, the newspaper said.

Parents who waited outside said they suspected the meat served for lunch on Saturday caused the illnesses. Most students ate it because meat is seldom offered.

Medical experts were sent to the hospital on Monday for consultation but didn't reveal any information to parents.

A doctor from Xinmi's Red Cross Hospital said the children were all in stable condition. But he refused to reveal the cause of the sicknesses.

The Xinmi Health Bureau said the cause of the illness had not been determined. Xinghua, a private school, has more than 2,000 students.


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