Archive for Wednesday, May 12, 1993

FOOD POISONING SUSPECTED AT FRAT

May 12, 1993

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An apparent case of food poisoning sent 15 members of a Kansas University fraternity to Lawrence Memorial Hospital and KU's Watkins Student Health Center early today, health officials said.

Members of the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity, 2021 Stewart, began showing up at hospitals about 1 a.m. with what officials described as classic symptoms of food poisoning, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Barbara Schnitker, director of nurses for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, said health department officials were investigating the incident as a case of mass food poisoning.

Schnitker said officials were in the process of interviewing victims to get a rundown of symptoms and what and when they ate Tuesday evening.

She said officials also would inspect the food preparation area at the fraternity.

Schnitker said although the severity of symptoms ranged from student to student, no one appeared to be seriously ill.

Dr. Charles Yockey, chief of staff at Watkins, said the symptoms were similar to those of viral stomach flu. However, he said, food poisoning was suspected because it would be extremely unusual for so many people to come down with the flu at the same time.

Yockey said one student was being treated today at Watkins.

Janice Early-Weas, spokesman at LMH, said 14 fraternity members were treated in the LMH emergency room and later released.

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