A mysterious illness that has afflicted a dozen girls in upstate New York has spread to more teens, officials said.
The illness, believed to be what’s called “conversion disorder,” has now been reported in 14 girls and one boy at Le Roy High School, New York State Health Department officials confirmed in several media reports.
The condition causes Tourette's-like tics and uncontrollable verbal outbursts. When it occurs in a larger group of people, it's called "mass psychogenic illness."
Meanwhile, USA Today is reporting parents of some of the teens have asked environmental activist Erin Brokovich to review the cases.
School officials have said environmental factors in the school building or surrounding areas are not to blame, and the cause of the outbreak remains uncertain.
The cases have also drawn the attention of federal health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been asked to review the cases and the National Institute of Health offered to perform psychological and neurological tests on the students free of charge.
Neurologist Laszlo Mechtler of the Dent Neurologic Institute in Buffalo, said tests performed on the teens have ruled out medical disorders, diseases and environmental factors.