180 High School Students Stricken by Food Poisoning

Around 180 students from a high school in Chiayi City have sought hospital treatment, after suffering symptoms of food poisoning since yesterday afternoon.

Some students began to show symptoms of food poisoning, including stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea, at around 12:30pm, shortly after eating lunch served at National Chiayi Senior Commercial Vocational School. The numbers of students affected increased throughout the afternoon and evening.

Two of the students were hospitalized due to the severity of their symptoms.

Television news footage showed dozens of students in the emergency department at Chiayi Christian Hospital. Some students were vomiting into plastic bags, while others sat writhing with stomach pain.

Some of the students arrived in ambulances and were transported in wheelchairs and stretchers.

School administrators posted an announcement on the school’s web site that read “The school has today (18th) a suspected food poisoning situation. Parents are required to pay close attention to your child’s physical condition. If vomiting or diarrhea occurs, do not ignore, and see a doctor as soon as possible.”

Chiayi City Public Health Bureau collected samples from the school lunches and visited suppliers in an attempt to identify the source of the outbreak. The school has suspended school lunches as a precaution while the health bureau carries out an epidemiological investigation.

The school lunches were sourced from a total of 5 suppliers and were served to 678 students.

According to school administrators, 275 students were reported absent today, April 19.

Chiayi Mayor visits student in hospital
Chiayi City Mayor Twu Shiing-JER (涂醒哲), who is also a qualified physician, visits students in a hospital in Chiayi City. Picture: Chiayi Christian Hospital.
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