Friday, June 24, 2011

13 children admitted to hospital over suspected food poisoning - 23rd June 2011

Thirteen children between the ages of 3 and 8 were hospitalized on Thursday in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province after becoming sickened in a suspected case of food poisoning, doctors said.

The 13 children had symptoms including nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, said Zhao Xueni, head of the department of pediatrics at the Heilongjiang Provincial Hospital in Harbin, the provincial capital.

The children, who are from a kindergarten on a large state-owned farm in the province's city of Jixi, are in stable condition, Zhao said.

One father said his 8-year-old daughter has been exhibiting symptoms of food poisoning for about a month, adding that he suspects the sickness was caused by contaminated rice served at the kindergarten's canteen.

Meng Xianwei, a deputy chief of the farm's committee of the Communist Party of China, said local health authorities have launched an investigation and suspended the kindergarten's operations after seizing 135 kg of contaminated rice from the school.

The rice has been sent to the provincial center for disease control and prevention for testing, Meng said.

If the food poisoning case is confirmed, the farm and the kindergarten will cover medical costs and travel expenses for the sickened children, Meng said. Source