99 people affected by mass hysteria in Bangladesh

July 15th, 2008 - 1:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, July 15 (Xinhua) A total of 99 people have fallen victim to mass hysteria, a temporary psychiatric illness, in Bangladesh’s southwestern Jessore district, some 164 km southwest of the capital, The Independent newspaper reported Tuesday. The endemic illness broke out between July 2 and July 7. A total of 70 students were admitted to the local hospital.

Mass hysteria became rampant in the country last year with several hundred people suffering from it. Most of them were students.

Mass hysteria usually affects specific groups, mostly students aged between 13 and 25, and is usually accompanied by headache, convulsion and loss of consciousness.

The disease spreads quickly from one person to another.

Experts say anxiety and worry are the two main precipitating causes of the psychological problem, which is aggravated by malnutrition, tension and lack of tolerance.

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