Sat, Mar 07, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Suspected norovirus outbreak in Kenting lays low students

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

A graduation trip for more than 200 students from northern Taiwan did not end well after they were rushed to hospital earlier this week due to a suspected outbreak of norovirus.

“Of the students suspected of coming down with the illness, 140 attend New Taipei Municipal An Kang High School and about 100 attend Taipei’s Ming Hu Primary School,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said yesterday.

Chuang said health officials have collected vomit for testing to determine the cause of the outbreak, adding that the results are expected to be available on Monday at the earliest.

An Kang school authorities said 285 of the school’s second-graders traveled to Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁) for a four-day trip on Tuesday and stayed at the Uni-Resort (統一渡假村) for the first two nights.

However, some of the students fell ill, suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, after they had eaten breakfast at the resort on Thursday.

On the same day, nearly 300 Ming Hu Primary School sixth-graders also had breakfast at the hotel after spending the first night of a three-day trip to Kenting that began on Wednesday.

Hours after they traveled to Chiayi City the next day, a number of students started experiencing vomiting, diarrhea and fever, and sought immediate medical attention.

The Chiayi City Public Health Bureau said as of 11:30am yesterday, 113 Ming Hu students had suffered from the symptoms, as well as their bus driver.

The Pingtung County Public Health Bureau said given that students from both of the schools started feeling ill after having breakfast at the resort, it had sent health officials to inspect the hotel and to collect food samples.

“Since the resort had disposed of most of the breakfasts it served on Thursday, bureau officials were only able to sample the water and the corn flakes,” the bureau said.

It said that hygiene and the storage of food in the hotel’s kitchen was up to standard.

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