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511 pupils hit by vomiting bug

Shanghai Daily, February 21, 2014 Adjust font size:

More than 500 students in east China's Zhejiang Province have been hit by vomiting bug norovirus after drinking contaminated water from dispensers.

Students from schools in Haining City and Haiyan County — including three kindergartens and 10 middle schools — are receiving hospital treatment, said Jiaxing City government, which administers both areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

The outbreak began on February 11 in Haining and February 13 in Haiyan, with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

While 511 students have been affected, no severe cases or fatalities have been reported, Jiaxing Disease Control and Prevention Center said.

People hit by the bug usually recover within a few days.

An investigation traced norovirus — the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans — to contaminated barreled water.

All affected schools were using barreled water from the same brand, said Yang Jing, head of the provincial health and family planning commission.

Hangjiahu, the barreled water producer whose water is thought to be the source of the norovirus outbreak, did not comment, Jiaxing TV news reported.

Gao Xiaolin, a middle school student in Haining, said he started vomiting on February 16.

"Classmates said they began feeling sick after drinking barreled water in the classroom," he told the City Express.

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