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Hundreds now violently ill after French 'mud race'

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Hundreds now violently ill after French 'mud race'
Was the mud the cause of the sickness? Photo: AFP
11:19 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: The number of people who fell sick after taking part in a Mud Day race in southern France has shot up to around 1,000, with the finger of blame being pointed at the bacteria in the mud.
At Saturday's Mud Day festivities in Nice on the Côte D'Azur, around 8,000 people took part in a challenging obstacle course that saw many completely submerged in mud. 
 
The next day, at least 30 of the participants were taken violently ill in what medical experts believe may be severe gastroenteritis, The Local reported on Tuesday.
 
Since then, the regional health agency has reported that 580 people have been taken ill, with French media reporting that the figure is now believed to be up around 1,000.
 
(File photo: AFP)
 
It remains unclear exactly how the runners ended up so sick, but doctors have suggested that the illness is similar to salmonella. Others have suggested that the patients may have ingested mud that was laced with some kind of bacteria. 
 
Either way, the run's official Facebook page has been a sorry sight, with runners posting comments in their hundreds about how they'd been plagued by diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever.
 
One runner noted that some muddy passages had the distinct smell of horse manure. 
 

(File photo: AFP)
 
One doctor chimed in on the Facebook page to report that he four patients from the run who were all violently sick, three of whom hadn't even eaten at the event. 
 
On Monday, organizers released a message on the official Mud Day site to alert participants that to they would "make every effort to determine what could have caused the stomach upsets".
 
Not everyone is as upset as their stomachs, however, with one runner writing on Facebook: "Yes, it's very irritating, but at least it's something to remember", adding that it was their first Mud Day "but certainly not the last".
 
The investigation continues.
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