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Twenty-six students hit by suspected food poisoning

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Twenty-six elementary school students in Hualien County fell victim Wednesday to what authorities suspect was food poisoning.

The students from three elementary schools, who were attending a five-day course at the Character and English Institute, experienced discomfort after eating breakfast at the institute, with many of them vomiting.

They were then sent to the hospital and treated for suspected food poisoning, but none were in serious condition.

Aside from the vomiting, some students also had diarrhea or felt dizzy, said Ma Yu-cheng, a doctor who treated them.

Hualien health officials are investigating what triggered the symptoms.

Chiang Ming-han, a teacher at the institute, said no teacher fell ill despite eating the same breakfast as the students.

The Character and English Institute, established in 2008, offers five-day courses that focus on character and English education. It wasjointly launched by the Hualien County government, National Hualien Special School and the HTC Foundation.

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