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Hundreds of students hospitalized with suspected poisoning in Sohag: Egypt health ministry

Ahram Online , Tuesday 14 Mar 2017
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File photo: Students attend class on the first day of their new school year at a government school in Giza, south of Cairo, September 22, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's health ministry said on Tuesday that some 800 students from eight schools have been hospitalised for suspected food poisoning after becoming sick after eating school meals in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Sohag, state news agency MENA reported.

Fifty ambulances rushed the students to hospital on Tuesday, most of whom have received treatment and been released, with 145 still in hospitals suffering from cramps and vomiting.

Food poisoning is not uncommon in Egypt, where basic public hygiene standards are poorly enforced.

This is not the first food poisoning incident to take place at government-run schools this month.

Earlier in March, around 200 students were diagnosed with food poisoning after eating meals at two schools in the southern governorate of Minya.

Days later, 14 students in Upper Egypt's Assiut suffered from food poisoning, prompting the health ministry to order a halt to the distribution of school meals in the governorate until food safety tests are carried out.

In January 2015, 150 students were hospitalised for food poisoning at Al-Azhar University in Assiut, according to the health ministry.

One of the most high-profile food poisoning incidents in recent years took place in 2013 at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, when some 550 students were hospitalised after eating at a campus cafeteria.

The incident prompted protests at the time by hundreds of students to demand investigations and the punishment of those responsible over what they deemed neglect by university officials.

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