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18 MIN READ TIME

Mass Hysteria Closes Fifty-Seven Schools in Bangladesh

Dozens of schools in Bangladesh were closed in January after hundreds of students began succumbing to a mysterious illness. According to the online Bangladeshi newspaper bdnews24. com:

It was just another day at Shibram RD Academy School in Faridpur until student Ritu Saha started experiencing difficulty while breathing. Even as she was administered first aid, thirty-seven of her classmates also reported similar symptoms. Academy’s teacher Susanta Kumar said all the students were evacuated from the classrooms and gathered in the playground. Meanwhile, thirty other students, mostly girls, also fell sick. . . . Supervisor Ganapati Biswas said that . . . hundreds of students, mostly girls between Class 6 and 10, have been affected. The disease starts with a student feeling out of breath, with the rest developing symptoms driven by anxiety that rippled through the school. (http://tinyurl.com/hc3ay64)

The students were taken to a local college hospital and examined, but doctors there could find no common cause or reason for the symptoms. In all the cases, the mysterious illness was minor and soon faded away. In all, fifty-seven schools in the region were closed for two days while investigators searched for a cause, but none was found. The Faridpur school mystery has all the textbook signs of a mass hysteria outbreak.

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About Skeptical Inquirer

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