More than 1000 students in a southern Philippine province fell ill on Friday after eating fruit-flavoured candy sold by vendors during their school recess, officials said.
Provincial disaster management officer Abel de Guzman said no deaths have been recorded, but at least 1080 students in southern Surigao del Sur province received emergency treatment after vomiting and complaining of nausea, dizziness, stomach pain and headaches. They were from the capital Tandag and the towns of Cagwait, Tago, Bayabas and Marihatag.
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Tandag Mayor Roxane Pimentel said some children fell ill minutes after eating the candy flavoured with durian, mangosteen and mango that was sold cheaply by vendors.
At least seven vendors have been detained in Tandag and Cagwait, she said. No charges were immediately filed.
Pimentel said she plans to call a special session of the city council to declare a state of calamity.
The students were taken to government hospitals and the provincial capitol building where they were treated by government health workers and private doctors, officials said.
"We have not even accounted for those who were taken to private clinics," Pimentel said.
She said it was not immediately clear what was wrong with the candy and samples would be sent for testing.
Hundreds of school children suffer from food poisoning
The poisons and heavy metals in our food – part I
The poisons and heavy metals in our food - part II