Mass vomiting at elementary school blamed on spicy chips, poor hygiene

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina -- Public health officials in North Carolina say a sudden case of mass vomiting at an elementary school wasn't caused by a heinous disease, but rather fruit-flavored concentrate, spicy food and "sympathetic vomiting."

The county's Department of Public Health reported two dozen fifth-graders and one adult fell ill Wednesday, March 20.

After conducting interviews, health officials said those who got sick ingested the concentrate without diluting it with water and ate a lot of spicy chips. State lab results ruled out chemical or infectious agents.

Health officials said the students also practiced poor hygiene by sharing the food and concentrate, lunch trays and drinking from their hands.

The entire school was cleaned before reopening the following day.
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