Almost 100 schoolgirls from Eregi Girls High School, located in the town of Kakamega, Kenya, have been hospitalised due to an unexplained illness. The students reported having difficulty walking and experiencing knee pain, symptoms that have left health officials baffled.
According to a BBC report, the girls were struggling to walk, some suffering from leg paralysis, and others experiencing convulsions. Initial speculations are even suggesting that this may be a case of mass hysteria.
A video from the school has caught the attention of the internet, showing the affected girls in distress as they struggle to walk. Posted on the platform “X”, which was formerly known as Twitter, the video caption states, “A possible case of mass hysteria has broken out at an all-girls school in western Kenya, with girls reporting that they are unable to walk.”
A possible case of mass hysteria has broken out at an all-girls school in western Kenya, with girls reporting that they are unable to walk. pic.twitter.com/E4yPeqtXmj
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 4, 2023
Jared Obiero, the regional director of education, visited the school to address concerned parents and assured them that the situation is under control. Obiero stated that classes for the unaffected students would resume as planned.
Health officials have collected blood, urine, and stool samples from the affected students, which have been sent to laboratories in Kisumu and Nairobi for analysis. These samples are also being reviewed by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). Results are expected to be available later this week, which could provide some much-needed answers.
Kenya’s county education official, Bonface Okoth, confirmed that 95 students are currently receiving medical attention in various hospitals. The schools have been shut down until further notice as health departments scramble to ascertain the nature of the disease.
Public health authorities, in conjunction with the county government and education department, have committed to treating the affected children. Parents and guardians have been advised to monitor their children’s health vigilantly.
At present, the mystery ailment remains an enigma, and experts are yet to determine its nature or cause. The outbreak has left the community anxious and prompted widespread discussion on social media, as everyone awaits the results of the medical tests. Speculation abounds, but until the lab results are in, health authorities are reluctant to comment on what exactly is causing these troubling symptoms.
While the officials remain tight-lipped, the entire episode has understandably caused significant stress for the affected families and the wider community. The symptoms of paralysis and convulsions are alarming, to say the least, and all await the lab results with bated breath to better understand this mysterious condition.