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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Church sickness cause inquiry
Map showing location of Weston Ryn
An investigation is under way after 30 members of the Free Church of Scotland fell ill at a Christian centre in Shropshire.

Seventeen of the people became violently sick overnight between Saturday and Sunday and were taken to Maelor Hospital in Wrexham.

The group, who were staying at the Quinta Christian Centre in Weston Ryn near Oswestry, are all said to be improving and are likely to be released on Monday.

The cause of the sickness is now being investigated.

'Thorough appraisal'

Dr Nick Phin, director of public health for Shropshire County Primary Care Trust, said: "We are convening an outbreak control meeting to do a thorough appraisal of the situation and what measures need to be taken."

The outbreak appeared to be contained within the centre and no new cases had been reported, he added.

Extra hygiene measures have been put in place in the part of the centre where the Free Church group were staying but otherwise, it is operating as normal.

Rev. Derek Lamont, who is running the camp, said: "All the signs are pointing to a 48-hour virus."

He hoped that those affected would stay at the Christian centre after they had been allowed out of hospital to avoid the long journey back home too quickly.

Test results

The church is running two camps at the centre involving at total of 104 people.

Most are from Lewis and others are from the Inverness area.

They arrived at the camp last Thursday on an eight-day stay.

The Free Church's camps administrator, Roddy Macleod, said: "We are still waiting to get confirmation of what has caused this outbreak.

"Initially they were saying it was a viral thing but until they get results of tests it won't be confirmed."


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