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Mass school sickness blamed on spicy food, sympathy vomiting

March 25, 2019 11:23 AM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Public health officials in North Carolina say the sudden onslaught of mass vomiting at an elementary school wasn't caused by a nefarious disease, but rather fruit-flavored concentrate, spicy food and "sympathetic vomiting."

Citing a Forsyth County Department of Public Health release, news outlets report two dozen fifth-graders and one adult fell ill Wednesday afternoon at Petree Elementary School.

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State lab results ruled out chemical or infectious agents. After conducting interviews, health officials concluded those sickened ingested the concentrate without diluting it with the requisite water and ate a lot of spicy chips. Health officials say the students also practiced poor hygiene by sharing the food and liquid, the latter of which they drank from their hands, lunch trays and other ill-advised conduits.

The entire school was cleaned before reopening Thursday.

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Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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