Mystery illness gives 12 girls at same school Tourette’s-like symptoms of tics and verbal outbursts
Doctors and school administrators will not disclose cause of illness
Parents worried and not satisfied with how issue is being handled
Two students at another school in Missouri faint after mystery smell reported
A mysterious disorder which exhibits symptoms similar to Tourette’s syndrome has affected twelve female students at the same high school.
Administrators said on Wednesday night that all of the students affected at LeRoy High School, in New York, have been diagnosed and are being treated but they would not disclose exactly what they think the cause is.
The students are said to all be suffering from verbal outbursts and involuntary twitches.
Tourette’s syndrome affects the body’s brain and nervous system by causing tics – repeated, uncontrollable movements or involuntary vocal sounds.
School administrators have insisted it is not a case of mass hysteria and that none of the girls are making the illness or symptoms up.
On Wednesday night the school held a forum for concerned parents. About 150 people attended, demanding to know what was wrong with the students.
Dr Greg Young, with the NYS Department of Health, said: ‘I can assure you these children have all been seen by professionals that have come up with answers and they are all being treated and they’re actually doing pretty well.’
He revealed that tics like this can be caused by a number of factors such as genetics, head trauma, drugs for ADHD and OCD and antihistamines.
Through tests over the last few months, they have been able to rule out a number of environmental factors, infections, illegal drugs and carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to WGRZ.com, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has been consulted, along with Columbia University, as well as the Genesee County Health Department and the New York State Health Department.
Dr Young assured parents that these cases have been seen nationwide and they come and go in individuals.
He said that stress and anxiety can make them worse.
But most parents were left frustrated due to HIPAA (federal health privacy laws) which meant the doctors were limited in telling them what was causing the symptoms.
Because of this and the limited number of cases in the small community, Dr Young said their hands were tied as they cannot comment on children’s diagnosis.
He said some of the students were already showing signs of improvement
Father of one of the students Jim DuPont said he is not satisfied with what the doctors or school administrators have told him.
He said his 17-year-old daughter has missed almost every day of school in the last month.
‘Now she has to be tutored,’ he told WGRZ.com ‘And I worry about her future. She’s only 17. She can’t even drive now.
‘It’s heartbreaking because you know her normal mannerisms.’
He said his daughter is being treated by a neurologist, but still hasn’t received a diagnosis.
‘I’m talking about something that comes on in just a couple of weeks. These kids are totally normal, and the next thing you know their arms are swinging and they can’t control themselves.’