Nature has an update on the mystery illness in New York state.
Last week, officials with the LeRoy Central School District in northwestern New York state approved a plan for further environmental testing at the town’s high school, where 19 people — 18 girls and one boy — have developed a sudden-onset disorder with symptoms similar to the movement disorder Tourette’s syndrome. The outbreak has captured national attention and led experts to suggest an array of possible explanations — none of which seem to quite work. With speculation running high, here is a look at the facts surrounding the outbreak.
Tip: Fortean Times Daily
This seems to be a clear case of “conversion disorder” or mass hysteria. But that is not a popular diagnosis. It is not convincing to the victims and families who do not understand that that is a genuine condition. Instead, more funds will be spent trying to find a cause. As we reported before with some good references that help explain this case, this situation will likely not come to a satisfying close, may result in lawsuits or may result in implicating an environmental factor that is not actually an important player.
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