'Mass psychogenic illness' considered at school where 30 sickened

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A medical phenomenon in which a number of people show real illness symptoms when no real cause exists is now suspected at the school in Springfield, Minnesota, where 30 went to the hospital Thursday, FOX 9 reports.

FOX reports the state health department says it was a case of "mass psychogenic illness" at the K-12 public school building – a mass reaction when lots of people in a shared space end up sick without a specific cause, except the fact that everyone in the group shares the same belief about the cause, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Despite the FOX report, health department spokesman Scott Smith told BringMeTheNews Friday morning it was too premature to definitively say the event was mass psychogenic illness.

"It's a possibility that is being considered, but the investigation is still ongoing," he said.

Carbon monoxide was initially suspected at the Springfield school Thursday morning after some elementary school students got sick in an auditorium during a choir rehearsal. Several students were promptly taken to the hospital and the school's 600 students were evacuated.

By the end of the day, 30 students had been treated and released at the hospital, a Mayo health facility in Springfield, after they suffered symptoms including nausea and headaches – common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Mankato Free Press initially had reported lab tests indicated some patients had higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood. But hospital Administrator Scott Thoreson on Friday told the Free Press that more thorough lab tests indicated normal levels.

And in fact, the Free Press and New Ulm Journal reported that officials detected no carbon monoxide in the school building during the day Thursday and Friday.

School was canceled for students Friday as the investigation continued.

Next Up

Brooklyn Center, protest, Daunte Wright

CNN employee struck in head by water bottle in Brooklyn Center

The man was knocked the ground, clearly dazed by the assault.

wolf collar video

Researchers share first-ever collar camera footage from wild wolf

The Voyageurs Wolf Project called it "fascinating," showing that wolves in northern Minnesota clearly know how to hunt fish.

Siren

Reminder: Tornado warning sirens will sound twice today for test

It's part of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota.

Brooklyn Center police, unrest, Daunte Wright

No tear gas used as police, protesters engage again in Brooklyn Center

Fewer arrests were made Wednesday compared to Tuesday.

protest, Daunte Wright, Brooklyn Center

Daunte Wright protests: Police treatment of residents, media in spotlight

There were reports of residents not involved in the protest being detained, and media members being held and forced to show credentials.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 5.09.01 PM

Defense witness: Cause of Floyd's death 'undetermined'

Dr. David Fowler, former Maryland chief medical examiner, said there were a number of possible factors that could have led to George Floyd's death.

Jorge Polanco

Red Sox sweep Twins in Wednesday's doubleheader

The Red Sox defeated the Twins 3-2 in Game 1 and 7-1 in Game 2.

Minnesota Wild

Wild score 3 power play goals in win over Coyotes

Mats Zuccarello scored twice in a 5-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 2.38.15 PM

Viral drone video of Bryant Lake Bowl to be auctioned off as NFT

Non-fungible tokens are the latest craze in consumer finance.

kimberly potter

Here's what the manslaughter charge against Kim Potter says

Activists are calling for more serious charges against the former officer.

Related