Dead lizard spotted in food, over 100 kids fall ill

The children were rushed to Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health and are said to be recovering. (DH File Photo. For representation only)

A calm Sunday night turned into a nightmare for the children at a remand home in Siddapura as several of them fell ill after consuming food in which they had spotted a lizard.

As many as 103 children of Siddapura Balamandira were rushed to the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH) in the early hours of Monday. While some had started gagging and had diarrhoea, the others were nauseated after consuming rice and sambar for dinner.

Fourteen-year-old Mayank (name changed) picked up a spoon of rice and sambar which was served for dinner on Sunday night. Just when he thought he was chewing on a piece of onion, an unpleasant taste made him spit it out. He had bitten into a dead lizard.

At the same time, another 10-year-old found a lizard’s leg in his plate. Chaos set in soon. About six fell seriously ill, but the staffers brought the others also to the hospital as a measure of precaution at 2 am.

Mayank said, “I almost chewed half of the lizard. I started developing abdominal pain and vomited. They (Sarkari Balakara Balamandir staff) rushed four of us to the hospital. The rest were brought later in ambulances.”

Ranganath (name changed), another student, said, “Although the food is not tasty sometimes, there has been no such incident where anyone has fallen sick; nor has the quality of food been bad. Last night, we were served food which was cooked in the remand home’s kitchen itself.”

The police termed it a case of “mass hysteria” and said they would look into the incident.

DCP South Annamalai said: “Doctors have told us that all children are recovering well. A few who complained of nausea are being treated at the hospital.” It doesn’t seem to a case of mischief, he said. Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner B Shankar has ordered an enquiry.

Food and vomit samples have been sent for examination.

Dr Sanjay K S, HoD, paediatrics, IGICH, said, “Most children are fine. They will be discharged in a day. In some cases, the domestic lizard’s skin contains salmonella. Domestic lizards are by far harmless and non-poisonous.”

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Dead lizard spotted in food, over 100 kids fall ill

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