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129 sickened in suspected water pollution in N China
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Suspected water contamination has sickened 129 villagers in north China's Shanxi Province, according to the local health authorities on Friday.

"There is no clinic in the village which has about 400 residents. Most of the people stayed at home to take medicine. Only three of them, who are severely ill, have been sent to the county hospital," said a medical worker surnamed Zhou, who is in the village to help with the treatment.

Residents in Wenjiahua Village, Pinglu County, began to show symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and high fever on Tuesday, he said.

Medical experts from Yuncheng City suspected that the mass illness was caused by water contamination, but "poisoning cannot be ruled out, before tests on food and water come out."

Authorities took water samples on Friday from a water-storage well for testing. The well that accumulates water flowing down from local hills is the only drinking water source in the village. It does not have any disinfection measures, according to the experts.

(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2009)

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