6 students remain in hospital after becoming ill at UM

70 were treated Sunday for digestive tract ailment while at youth conference

August 10, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Six high school students remained hospitalized with apparent food poisoning yesterday after they became ill Sunday while staying at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The students were suffering from irritation and inflammation of their digestive tracts, said Juanita Robinson, a spokeswoman for Doctors Community Hospital in Prince George's County. The students were expected to be released today.

More than 70 students were treated at two hospitals Sunday after they became ill while staying at the college, where they were participating in a National Student Leadership Conference. The youths were served boxed lunches from a dining hall Sunday, but officials said they also may have eaten off campus, and the source of the illness was unclear.

All of the ill students were staying in the LaPlata Hall dormitory, which has since been evacuated, said UM spokesman George Cathcart. Not every LaPlata resident became sick, he said, and the healthy students have been moved to other housing on campus.

Nearly 400 students from around the world are attending the conference, which began Friday and concludes Thursday. They discuss world issues, study politics and meet with elected leaders.

The students who became ill were taken to Doctors Community and Washington Adventist hospitals. All of the students at Washington Adventist have been released, a spokeswoman said.

The hospitalized students at Doctors Community have been tested for food poisoning and infections, Robinson said.

Test results could be made available today or tomorrow but could take up to two weeks, she said.

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