Milk blamed for sickening 74 children

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 June, 2004, 12:00am

Bad milk powder is being blamed for sending 74 children to hospital with a fever and symptoms of food poisoning in Guizhou province on Thursday.

Samples of milk formula were taken from two nurseries in the provincial capital, Guiyang , for testing at two Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Breakfast foods and water are also being tested.

Early results were expected on Monday, a worker from one of the nurseries said yesterday.

'We cannot confirm the cause of the food poisoning but everything is being tested,' the worker said.

She said representatives of the city's Health Bureau had also gone to the factory producing the powder to take samples. Xinhuanet yesterday reported that the children had drunk the same brand of milk formula before developing fevers, stomach pain and vomiting.

Of the 74 children affected, 56 were taken to the Guiyang Medical College's affiliated hospital and 28 were sent to the Wu Dan district People's Hospital.

All the children have since recovered and have returned home, according to the hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Guizhou provincial Health Bureau said separately on Thursday that almost half of the milk powder it had tested recently was substandard.

Of the 86 brands tested, 42 failed to meet standards, according to Xinhuanet. The announcement did not specify what was wrong with the failed brands.