DE SOTO, Kan., March 15 (UPI) -- About 50 Kansas high school students were stricken with apparent food poisoning en route home from a band trip to New York, officials said.
The sick teenagers were part of a group of more than 140 students from De Soto High School in De Soto, Kan., traveling on three coach buses Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
They became ill while on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and had to make a stop at Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant.
"Many of them got what we are calling food-poisoning symptoms. Some of them were pretty severe -- nausea, cramping, diarrhea," Excela Health spokeswoman Jennifer Miele said Wednesday.
Miele said initially 20 students were treated at the hospital.
"As soon as that group was treated, another group got sick," she said.
Several chaperones also reported feeling ill, the newspaper said.
The Pennsylvania and New York departments of health are investigating the incident.
"At this time, this is considered an open investigation as we examine the commonalities amongst the [individuals] and trace the source of the illness," Thomas G. Hostetter, Pennsylvania Department of Health spokesman, said in an e-mail.
The students left Kansas Friday to participate in a program called "Broadway Classroom," said De Soto School District spokesman Alvie Cater.
"They worked on some Broadway music and one-on-one with a Broadway director and performed. It was a trip they planned for two years," he said. "It was a wonderful opportunity to go and see New York and get exposed to some of the big music on Broadway. We are happy our kids are headed home."
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