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(Jefferson City) (AP) – Health officials are investigating the cause of an outbreak of illnesses during a recent gathering of the Missouri Coroners’ and Medical Examiners’ Association.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that 40 to 50 members of the group became ill during a three-day conference at a Jefferson City hotel. About 100 members of the association attended the conference.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and Cole County Health Department are investigating the cause of the illnesses. People attending the conference began complaining of a dry throat, and several developed a high fever.

Samples collected at the hotel are being tested by disease and environmental specialists at a health department laboratory.

Attendees who have fallen ill also are being asked to fill out a survey.

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