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Tainted School Breakfast Sickens 65 Kids

Sixty-five children in Guangdong Province fell ill after eating breakfast at a school canteen on Monday, ten of them seriously.

The 65 children were sent to local clinics and hospitals for treatment at midday on Monday when headaches, cramps and vomiting set in after they had had breakfast in the school canteen at about 7:00 AM. They were diagnosed with food poisoning and most were treated with gastric lavage and intravenous drips.

The ten seriously children were transferred to Dianbai County People's Hospital and Maoming Municipal People's Hospital, where they remained hospitalized Tuesday in serious but stable condition.

A doctor at Dianbai County People's Hospital said that the ten were out of danger and receiving treatment by intravenous drip, while the remaining children had all been released. "No deaths have been reported so far," the doctor added.

All the victims are aged between 13 and 17 years and are students at Wangling Middle School, where 1,450 children are enrolled.

Officials believe the food the children ate was contaminated with some kind of rat poison.

An investigation is under way.

(China Daily March 31, 2004)

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