Health dept probes sudden illness of 46 KwaZulu-Natal pupils who 'ate lollipops'

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KZN pupils fell ill after apparently eating lollipops.
KZN pupils fell ill after apparently eating lollipops.
Kayleen Morgan
  • School pupils complained of abdominal pains after apparently eating lollipops at a school in KZN.
  • An environmental health specialist will conduct an investigation.
  • All the pupils are recovering at their respective homes. 

The health department in KwaZulu-Natal's Ilembe District has launched an investigation after 46 pupils from a local primary school complained of severe abdominal pains on Monday. 

The provincial health department on Tuesday said it noted the circulation of a video, which depicted a group of school children in visible distress at a healthcare facility.

In the video, the pupils are seen crying uncontrollably on the floor, while others are in distress on the hospital chairs.

READ | Back to school: Full-time attendance for Western Cape pupils from Monday

"At this stage, the department is unable to confirm the cause of this sudden illness, save to say that all the children had relatively mild symptoms and were treated and discharged on the same day," the health department said.

The provincial education department's spokesperson, Muzi Mahlambi, said the pupils fell ill after apparently eating lollipops.

"We can confirm that learners from Umbozane Primary School in KwaMaphumulo yesterday (Monday), they ate lollipops that caused them to vomit and some complained of stomach cramps," said Mahlambi.

He added that the lollipops were sold by the "aunties" who sell snacks at the school.

The pupils are recovering at their respective homes. 

"Any allegations pertaining to the 'death' of any individuals in this matter - as claimed in an audio clip accompanying the video - are false, objectionable, and are to be regarded as the work of agents provocateur with nefarious intentions of sowing fear and panic," the health department added. 

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