Suspected food poisoning in Vietnam leaves 1 student dead, nearly 40 hospitalized

The city of Nha Trang has experienced a series of poisonings in recent years.
By RFA Vietnamese
Suspected food poisoning in Vietnam leaves 1 student dead, nearly 40 hospitalized The scene outside Vinh Truong Primary School in Nha Trang, Vietnam, April 5, 2024.

In a case of suspected food poisoning in Vietnam, an elementary school student died after eating breakfast at an eatery in front of her school on Friday, while about three dozen other pupils who did the same fell ill and had to be hospitalized, officials said.

The fifth-grader who died had fainted inside Vinh Truong Primary School in the southern city of Nha Trang at about 6:55 a.m., according to the city’s People’s Committee.

School staff quickly administered first aid and called an emergency number for assistance. The student was taken to Khanh Hoa Provincial General Hospital, where she died. 

Though the exact cause of her death is unknown, the student was suffering from an underlying heart disease, according to the provincial Department of Health in a report by Voice of Vietnam, a state-controlled news website. 

In all, about 37 students from two schools — Vinh Truong Primary School and Tran Hung Dao secondary School — were taken to hospitals for emergency treatment, according to Vietnam’s Tuoi Tre News.   

Relevant bodies are investigating the incidents.

String of cases

In recent years, Nha Trang, which is about 450 kilometers (280 miles) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, has had several cases of food poisoning.

In March, nearly 350 diners at the restaurant Tram Anh Chicken Rice showed symptoms of food poisoning after eating rice and chicken, most of whom had to be hospitalized, according to Tuoi Tre News.

In 2023, nearly 400 students at a school were sickened in what the Khanh Hoa Department of Health later identified as salmonella poisoning, the report said. 

On Friday, 28 students from Vinh Truong Primary School and Tran Hung Dao Secondary School were still being monitored and treated at the hospitals.

A Vinh Truong Primary School official told Vietnamese media that the students ate rice with chicken, chicken sandwiches and egg sandwiches at the indoor eatery.

Translated by Anna Vu for RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Roseanne Gerin and Malcolm Foster.


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