The San Mateo Health System is investigating the source of apparent food poisoning that sickened attendees at a NAACP convention in Redwood City, CA, this past weekend. Health officials said that 12 people were taken to the hospital by ambulance and several more transported themselves to hospitals after a banquet dinner closing the 27th Annual NAACP California Hawaii State Convention held at the Sofitel Luxury Hotel from Oct. 23-26. Former Oakland Mayor and Assemblyman Elihu Harris was reportedly one of the attendees hospitalized. The San Jose Mercury News reported that convention attendees were throwing up in the hotel lobby by 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night. The San Mateo health department states that there have been multiple events at the hotel and an additional number of people have become ill, bringing the total number of people with reported gastrointestinal illness to approximately 40 as of the morning of November 3. The continuing investigation includes interviews with hotel employees and guests, lab work, and on-site inspections to help narrow the potential source and origin of the illness. Health officials say that convention organizers and the hotel have been fully cooperating. The hotel has initiated steps to disinfect the property and chose to close their kitchen and has not served food since October 30. Sandra Pinto Duhamel of Accor Hotels, which operates the Sofitel, said in a statement, “While we do not know the cause of the illness, we are cooperating with Health Department officials at this time. We remain very concerned about the well-being of the guests who became sick and wish them a speedy recovery.” In 2008, 62 people attending a Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce event at the same hotel were infected with Norovirus.