160 people take ill in remote Meghalaya village after attending New Year feast

Shillong, Jan 3 (PTI) At least 160 people fell ill after attending a ritual New Year community feast in a remote village in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, officials said on Monday.

Of the 160 affected, 30 had serious infection with complaints of diarrhea and severe vomitting, community health center specialist S K Shylla and senior doctor at Khliehriat civil hospital, C S Bareh said.

The incident took place at Iapmala village and the affected were sent to the hospital in the district headquarter town on Monday, they said.

The doctors at the hospital said food poisoning is not ruled out since all of them had attended the same feast.

Among those admitted to the hospital were women, children and those who did not consume meat items served at the feast.

District deputy commissioner S S Syiemlieh said he has asked the district medical health officer and officials of the food safety directorate to investigate the matter thoroughly.

Teams of the health department visited the village to collect samples of the food consumed by the affected and sent them for testing, he said.