Hysteria? ‘Mysterious’ disease at Starehe Girls revealed

Hysteria? 'Mysterious’ disease at Starehe Girls revealed

It has now emerged that some students from Starehe Girls Centre who are still in quarantine are suffering from of mass psychogenic illness (MPI) also known as mass hysteria.

The report from the Ministry of Health (MOH) comes just a day after the school sent students home following an outbreak of an unknown disease that saw 68 of them quarantined.

According to MOH, upon being notified by the school, they immediately dispatched an advance team of experts to the school to investigate and assess the situation.

“The team collected appropriate specimens and that were tested for various viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens at the National Public Health Laboratories,” read the statement.

The results however indicated no significant viruses or bacteria were identified except for 2 cases of rhinovirus which MOH said is the most common viral infectious agent in humans and a predominant cause of common cold.

In light of the exclusion of an infectious cause and the rapidly increasing number of affected students, MOH dispatched a second team of specialists to conduct a psychological assessment of the affected students.

“The second team drew a conclusion of mass psychogenic illness (MPI) also called mass hysteria,” read the statement.

The ministry in consultation with the school’s administration and the Ministry of Education have reached a decision to remove the girls from the school environment and allow the girls to go home for a few days.

“Further, individual psychological evaluation of the affected students is being undertaken to understand the trigger of the occurrence as well as group therapy for the students, staff and caregivers,” read the statement.

On Tuesday, the school had released a statement that revealed symptoms of those affected as high-pitched cough, sneezing, and low grade fever.

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