Health authorities suspect food poisoning due to snacks brought by a few parents

Sixteen school students, aged 10 to 15 years, were admitted to the Namakkal Government Hospital after they complained of stomach ache and giddiness on Friday morning.

Health authorities suspect that something was wrong with the snacks that some parents brought to the hostel run by an NGO and not because of food provided in the hostel.

Deputy Director (DD) of Health Services B.R. Jemini said that these students – 14 boys and two girls - were among 74 students from financially backward families who stayed in the hostel.

“Sixty-four of them are studying in SBM High School, a government-aided school in Namakkal town. Sixteen of them complained of stomach pain and giddiness after they reached school and were taken to the GH,” he said. The health official also said that their condition was stable.

He said that parents of some of the children, who visited them in the hostel last Sunday, gave them some snacks. “The 16 hospitalised children shared it before they went to school on Friday morning. “It could have been spoilt and caused the stomach pain. Chance of food contamination in the hostel is remote as others who had breakfast did not complain of any uneasiness”, Dr. Jemini said. Health authorities inspected the hostel and said that they have collected food samples (idly and gravy served for breakfast) and sent it to the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Super Speciality Hospital in Salem, while water samples collected from the borewell was sent to their laboratory in Coimbatore for testing. “We also inspected sanitation and hygiene in the hostel and school”, a health official said.

Joint Director of Medical Services M.R. Inbasekaran said the children would be under observation in the GH till Friday night or Saturday morning. District Collector V. Dakshinamoorthy and Chief Education Officer V. Kumar visited the students and enquired about their health.

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