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50 from Kansas treated for food poisoning in Pa.

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Dozens of Kansas high school students and chaperones who became ill after eating in New York while on a band trip have been treated for food poisoning symptoms at a western Pennsylvania hospital.

Those sickened were part of a group of 164 people aboard three buses from De Soto High School, about 20 miles southwest of Kansas City.

The group stopped Wednesday morning at Excela Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant, 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, because it’s near the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the route for the group’s westward trip.

“When they first arrived, 20 students were experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, but in order not to separate the entire group they brought all three buses to the hospital,” hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Miele said. “As soon as they were treated, 20 more students got sick, and after they were treated 10 chaperones got sick.”

Miele said the group ate in New York before beginning the return trip, but she didn’t know where. She also didn’t know where in New York the band had been visiting.

She said those sickened were hydrated and treated with medicine to combat nausea and had packed up to continue their trip by mid-afternoon.

Phone calls to the high school and the Kansas school district’s administrative offices on Wednesday weren’t answered. Voice mail messages indicated both were closed for spring break until Monday.

Miele said the Pennsylvania and New York state health departments were notified and were investigating where and what the band group ate.

“Now the plan is to try to figure out where the food poisoning came from,” Miele said.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed on Wednesday it had opened an investigation and was attempting to trace the source of the illness by comparing what those who got sick had to eat and other things they may have in common. New York health officials did not immediately return a call for comment.

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