Transcript for Mystery Tic Illness Worries New York Town
Until a few weeks ago -- Roy in New York was best known as the birthplace. Of -- -- but now a medical mystery has thrust a small town into an uncomfortable spotlight the case. Is drawing so much... See More
Until a few weeks ago -- Roy in New York was best known as the birthplace. Of -- -- but now a medical mystery has thrust a small town into an uncomfortable spotlight the case. Is drawing so much attention because the victims of this mystery malady are almost all teenage girl's classmates. At the local high schools so -- to be something in the water causing their condition in the air in their heads. Here's my co anchor Cynthia McFadden. It's all anyone on main street can talk about. There are just so many different rumors and it is different stories at the white hot center of -- all the question of what is happening to the girls. At the Roy junior senior high school. Fifteen of the 600 students have come -- -- with the strange illness but disturbing -- Yes -- she was when I first spoke to us that their claims have -- the national attention but many of their licences. -- no real resolution. So not to see for ourselves what was going on there we met Traci Lou Wagner and her friend Lawrence elbow both sixteen. State they've been sick since last fall all what the kids at school have a better understanding -- A lot of them -- that we're speaking and and that trip taking -- -- attention. The series and why would we keep this in fact -- we talked to not medical -- not school officials. Not the girl's parents. Think there faking. The girls are clearly suffering. And when it first started happening what did you think what was the what was the first thing you -- I'm she was twitching her -- and she was making -- no planes so you've heard about other kids who are having some sort of for lack of -- -- -- let's call it twitching okay. They didn't know this of. There -- -- and it's it's it happened tonight there. And then I did public panic -- actor I also talked to the -- Maris. And that's when I found out that there where mark barrels. I first started seeing that girls and -- the beginning of October. In each team each case came in one at a time. Local neurologist doctor Jennifer -- they diagnosed several of the girls was something called conversion disorder. And neurological condition in which psychological. Stress results in real physical symptoms. Surprisingly neurologists say it's not that -- comment. But as document pig some more pieces she did you suspect something more unusual what's going -- Once you start putting -- -- in hearing the stories. It was easier to put a picture together -- mass like threatening illness. It's called mass hysteria and exceedingly rare psychological phenomenon -- symptoms spread throughout a close community. Usually among young women documented cases stretched back for centuries. And we found three cases in the US over the past fifteen years. All infants -- world. They do get -- But the diagnosis of mass hysteria has been made some of the parents here who feel other possible causes have not been adequately investigated. Especially toxins in the environment. -- Erin Brockovich. We don't believe that a all the environmental testing that should have been done in fact has been. Brockovich is environmental crusading made her famous after she made by Julia Roberts experts isn't a massive environmental -- grew -- in California. When she involved and pointed out there had been a major Toxics. And -- parents. -- -- For those who believe that these kids may have gotten sick at least in part due to environmental reasons this is really ground zero. Where 42 years ago a train derailment caused 30000 gallons of -- toxic substance to -- Brockovich center environmental investigator Bob -- -- to liberalize to conduct further testing. That visit turned ugly when the school superintendent who -- -- off campus accusing him of staging a media spectacle. It's a bit of -- grandstands both -- and Brockovich say there are still many questions that need more thorough investigation. Such as are the natural gas wells almost all ground safe. Was dirt from the toxic spill site used to still on the school football field. But the school in the state public Health Department still maintain the testing has ruled out environmental causes. In a letter to the community the schools says extensive research examination and testing of revealed. That there is no environmental or infectious cause but this ailment. The -- we -- at the toxic -- We did fine men in Hazmat suits doing additional testing what -- you don't affect -- -- we don't technique people's children. All of which was fodder for the rumor mill that is -- in this town. It culminated justices' past weekend and angry shouting match between schools superintendent. And members of the community. You'll hear. -- and a half dozen of the neurologist we spoke with say. The real problem is that most patients have a hard time except in a psychological diagnosis. There comes a point where you have to get into the except -- inspect healing process if you you can search for things for hamper. And what I can play is that people that hit. Have done this -- improving. I significantly in effect dramatically. Well what's wrong with that diagnosis why do you think that's not possible -- -- Paying -- -- -- honor I mean and I'm home with me Kansan. In mind. Paying now -- -- if it's just does not make sense. Meanwhile many of the families have taken in New Jersey neurologist up on his offer of help. Nine of the girls have been evaluated by doctor Rosario triple -- in the last week. Often following a strep throat -- not a type of infection. While we developed symptoms of either. Tics like we've seen these girls or another related condition called obsessive compulsive disorders which a few of these -- -- flat. Doctor AAA is now treating Lauren and Traci -- -- antibiotic. Back in mainstream there are still questions it seems like it's almost Britain people write down through the national. Kathy Dunn's thirteen year old daughter Emily -- to take just two weeks ago. The conflict among the parents about -- to us -- left her confused. I want it every avenue explored. And even if we hit -- hands and they said it's not as and I know what it isn't. The events of the past few months of stirred something deep here in the -- something that won't be resolved until all the girls are healthy. And parents but.
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