Over 300 school children were hospitalised in China due to food poisoning, authorities said today. Shigella sonnei bacteria were found in the feces of patients who are among hundreds treated for food poisoning in northern China, they said. More than 300 school children have been hospitalised since yesterday afternoon, but none face life-threatening illness, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. According to doctors, patient blood test reports showed high white blood cell levels, indicating infection. Experts said the discovery confirmed that the students were suffering from gastrointestinal diseases caused by the bacteria. "Shigella sonnei bacteria can breed in food and water at an optimum temperature, which can easily cause bacillary dysentery," they said, adding severe cases of shigellosis can be so serious that patients, particularly young children and the elderly, need to be hospitalised. Further investigation into the cause of the outbreak is under way, the report said.
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