3 die at Pineville hospital

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 10, 2010

PINEVILLE, La. (AP) — State officials say they suspect food poisoning as the cause behind the weekend deaths of three patients at Pineville’s Central State Hospital.

Forty patients at the behavioral health hospital showed signs of gastrointestinal stress beginning around 6:30 a.m. Friday with the three deaths — a 43-year-old woman, 41-year-old man and 52-year-old man — happening late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

State Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine told reporters Saturday that autopsies of the three patients are scheduled Monday, with lab test results expected in a few days.

Two patients remain hospitalized at Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville. A total of 11 patients and four staff members were treated there for possible food-poisoning symptoms.