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Nigeria tests drug after deaths

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All paracetamol-based drugs prescribed in Nigeria are being tested after the deaths of 29 children, who had taken contaminated medicine, officials say.

The children died after drinking a baby teething mixture contaminated with diethylene glycol, a toxic substance normally used in engine coolant.

The authorities have closed down the manufacturer of the mixture - My Pikin - along with one of its suppliers.

About 40 other children were taken to hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting.

"We're now testing all brands of paracetamol drugs from all over the country," National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control Director-General Dora Akunyili told Reuters news agency.

The children died at three hospitals in Lagos, Ibadan and Zaria.

The agency said it had first received reports of possible contamination on 19 November and had begun to confiscate the syrup two days later.

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