Tourists suffer food poisoning at Phan Thiet resort

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More than a hundred southern tourists rushed to hospitals in the south central Binh Thuan Province Thursday after attending a food fair and having a dinner at a resort in the area.

Doctors said three general hospitals in the province and a medical clinic in Phan Thiet received 114 people, from 10 to 70 years of age, from midnight on Wednesday.

They displayed symptons including stomach ache, vomiting, fever and diarrhea but as of Thursday morning, they were in a stable condition, doctors said.

Doctor Vo Duong Duc, head of Binh Thuan Food Safety and Hygiene Department, said the patients were from a group of around more than 700 employees of Thong Thinh Company in Binh Duong Province, having branches in Ho Chi Minh City and nearby provinces.

The group was on vacation organized by VietMark, Ltd. in HCMC and on Wednesday night had dinner at Suoi Cat Tourism and Entertainment Center in Phan Thiet. The resort at the time was organizing a fair with 42 varieties of food.

The department has sent officials to hospitals and the resort to take samples for testing.

Earlier on Wednesday, 97 workers from a Japanese glove factory in Ho Chi Minh City were rushed to hospital Wednesday after having lunch at the factory.

The workers suffered from stomach aches, headaches and vomiting around four hours after eating a lunch of fried tuna, braised chicken and boiled vegetables, supplied by a local chef only identified as Em.

City health officials arrived at the Showa Gloves Vietnam Company in Tan Thuan Export and Processing Zone in District 7 later the same day to check the hygiene on site and take food samples for testing.

No severe cases or fatalities have been reported in both cases.

More than 20 food poisoning cases have occurred across the country in the past month with at least 12 fatalities among more than 700 affected, according to figures released Wednesday from the Ministry of Health.

On Monday, seven people in Nghe An Province in the north central mountains became sick after drinking water boiled with wild roots. Two of them died. Lo Ba Bien, 75, died first but the cause of death was not discovered before others drank the remaining water at her funeral. Ha Thi Lan, 42, died soon after.

Most other food poisoning cases have been in the northern mountainous provinces such as Ha Giang, Bac Giang and Yen Bai. Three cases were caused by microorganisms, six by poisonous mushrooms or roots, and pufferfish, a poinous tropical oceanic fish.

Nguyen Thanh Hung, 42, from Binh Thuan Province in the south central coast died Tuesday after eating pufferfish.

The ministry said people have been too careless.

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