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      Mysterious illness sickens coroner's conference attendees

      Mysterious illness sickens conference attendees.
      Dozens attending a coroner's conference at the Truman Hotel & Conference Center apparently became ill after dinner Wednesday night. Health officials say the illnesses reported were not caused by the hotel.Capital Region Medical Center confirmed seeing a few people that night and Thursday in the emergency department. One person was hospitalized, but a hospital spokesperson said the patient had a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by the sudden illness.The wife of Randolph County coroner Gerald Lundsford told us that, as of Thursday evening, her husband was still feeling awful. We have heard reports that Lundsford and others experienced stomach issues.No word on exactly how many people were affected. The source of the illness is also unknown at this time.Cole County Public Health Director Marie Peoples said her department is investigating four cases, all of which were reported at the hospital. The patients had respiratory symptoms, and Peoples said the illnesses did not appear to be related; however, the state health lab is doing tests. Results are expected to come back on Monday.Public health nurses investigated, but Peoples said that as of Thursday evening, there did not seem to be a major outbreak. On-site investigations are being conducted, according to a release from the health department Friday afternoon.Anyone who was at the hotel and experienced a health issue should report it to the health department.On Friday, hundreds checked in for the bi-annual Elks Lodge State Convention. The hotel manager told us she wouldn't allow an entire convention to stay this weekend if there was something wrong with the hotel. Health officials did not find any food issues or mold at the Truman Hotel.