Mass School Sickness Blamed on Spicy Chips, 'Sympathetic Vomiting,' Health Officials Say - NBC New York
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Mass School Sickness Blamed on Spicy Chips, 'Sympathetic Vomiting,' Health Officials Say

Two dozen fifth-graders and one adult fell ill Wednesday afternoon at Petree Elementary school; the whole school had to be cleaned

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    Mass School Sickness Blamed on Spicy Chips, 'Sympathetic Vomiting,' Health Officials Say
    NBC 5 News

    What to Know

    • A sudden mass vomiting incident at a North Carolina elementary school was caused by spicy food and "sympathetic vomiting," officials say

    • Two dozen fifth-graders and one adult fell ill Wednesday afternoon at Petree Elementary school; the whole school had to be cleaned

    • Officials say the sick consumed a fruit-flavored concentrate without diluting it and ate a lot of spicy chips; they also shared the items

    The sudden onslaught of mass vomiting at an elementary school in North Carolina wasn't caused by a nefarious disease, but rather fruit-flavored concentrate, spicy food and "sympathetic vomiting," public health officials say. 

    Citing a Forsyth County Department of Public Health release, news outlets report two dozen fifth-graders and one adult fell ill Wednesday afternoon at Petree Elementary School. 

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

    Health officials say the students also practiced poor hygiene by sharing the food and liquid, the latter of which they drank from their hands, lunch trays and other ill-advised conduits. 

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    (Published Monday, March 25, 2019)

    The entire school was cleaned before reopening Thursday.

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