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Four People Fall Ill After Eating Coworker's Food

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Four people fell ill at a pharmaceutical company in San Diego after eating food brought in by a coworker.

The incident took place at Inovio Pharmaceuticals on the afternoon of Sept. 12.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz told The San Diego Union-Tribune that a 60-year-old man lost consciousness and stopped breathing outside the business around 1:10 p.m.

The man was transported to a hospital around 1:55 p.m. after bystanders used a defibrillator on him and administered CPR. His condition is unknown at this time.

Another person was taken to the hospital in an ambulance after becoming sick around the same time, while two others either drove themselves to the hospital or had someone else drive them, according to San Diego police officer Billy Hernandez.

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Munoz explained that the four individuals began feeling unwell shortly after eating food that had been brought in by an employee of the company.

The food in question was a shrimp casserole, Hernandez stated.

Founded in 1979, Inovio Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company in Sorrento Valley that specializes in the use of immunotherapies to combat serious diseases.

The company's mission statement reads: "Expanding immune system stimulation to revolutionize the fight against cancers & infectious diseases."

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Sorrento Valley was in the news recently after a team of armed FBI agents raided NexBio, another pharmaceutical company in the area, as part of a white-collar crime investigation involving the alleged mishandling of government funds, KFMB reports.

The raid took place around 8 a.m. on Aug. 3. All of the company's employees were told to go home as the agents searched the premises.

"The FBI came in. Some had guns drawn, but they were friendly," witness Linda Cruikshank said. "They said they had a search warrant and asked them to leave."

Vincent Gordon, the CEO of a nearby business, said the officers refused to explain to him what was going on.

"Please stay in your position, back up, go back where you came from. There's no need for you to get involved," he said they told him.

He said the raid caused a lot of anxiety among surrounding businesses, since no one knew what was happening.

"The fact of the matter is, there are 30 employees up there that may not have a job tomorrow," he said.

FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth told KFMB that no arrests had been made and that the case had been sealed to prevent details from leaking out to the public.

Sources: The San Diego Union-Tribune,, KFMB / Featured Image: Steven Depolo/Flickr / Embedded Images: Scott Sanchez/Wikimedia Commons, RightCowLeftCoast/Wikimedia Commons

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