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900 pupils hit by alleged food poisoning in Japan

TOKYO--More than 900 pupils at elementary schools in a central Japanese city have fallen ill in a suspected outbreak of mass food poisoning, officials said Thursday.

The number of students who reported vomiting and diarrhea reached 905 by late Thursday at 14 elementary schools in Hamamatsu, a seaside city around 200 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, the local education board said. About 40 teachers and staff at these schools also showed symptoms of food poisoning, said the board.

“Most of them developed such symptoms last night. They had eaten school lunch but any causal relation with the symptoms have yet to be confirmed,” Seiko Terada, director of health and school lunch at the board, told AFP. The affected schools were closed Thursday and will remain shut until at least the end of Friday.

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