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Nov 1, 2011

School faintings spark diagnosis discussion

Concerns as well as fear continue to linger in Teakettle Village after eleven students suddenly fell ill at St. Edmund R.C. School on Friday. But even more pressing, is the question of what was behind the mysterious incident, in which the children suffered striking headaches, nausea and dizziness. Several of them lost consciousness and they were all hospitalized for a short while at the Western Regional Hospital. The students were left traumatized and speculations are rife that the incident may have been triggered by chemicals in the air or an evil possession. So today News Five sought a medical perspective on the whole situation. Internist, Dr. Fernando Cuellar, spoke on possible causes for the wave of sickness in the standard six class.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Internist

“More than  likely when that number of individuals would suffer from similar symptoms, you’d have to get suspicious that they were exposed to some type of agent and more than likely some type of respiratory gas like entity; for example, things like carbon monoxide would be one of those and methane. These are practically odorless gasses that you would not—well, not so much the methane but the carbon monoxide—that you would not perceive, you would not pick up with the sense of smell and be exposed to and start experiencing these symptoms. So there are possibilities that they may have been exposed to something gas like. What caused it? Enclosed areas sometimes have decaying material in the ceilings or walls or even from the ground beneath. So all of these things are possible and with the correct resources and technology, you can find out exactly. I think unfortunately we don’t have all of that necessary resource in Belize to make a proper diagnosis. Apart from that, I don’t think it’s something they came in contact with by touch and the symptoms are not consistent with something they ate, for example. It’s more consistent with something that they were—from a medical point of view—something that they were exposed to through the respiratory system.”

Delahnie Bain

Fernando Cuellar

“A suggestion that was thrown out there is the possibility of it being mass hysteria.”

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“Well, that definitely has to be considered. You can’t rule that out as yet. It would, however, require the services of a psychiatrist to interview the children them and see if there’s any common denominator that would force that person to make that suspicion stronger in terms of mass hysteria.”

Delahnie Bain

“Can you speak a bit more to what mass hysteria is?”

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“Mass hysteria is, indeed when you have a group of individuals, both adults and children, who because of a trigger, experience similar symptoms. More than likely anxiety type symptoms like headache, rapid heart beating and trembling and tremors and those kinds of things; not so much the nausea and the vomiting. These situations we always try to get something beneficial from them. So it’s just to remind people to be careful of their surroundings, enclosed areas; particularly wells, old buildings, old locked up buildings. There are things that exist there that we’re not aware of that can harm us. So just be careful.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “School faintings spark diagnosis discussion”

  1. Initiate! says:

    Bit of a joke!

  2. Initiate! says:

    The biggest ignorance is to think and believe that there is nothing such as evil spirits..come on…we live in the 21st Century, and we have a HUGE amount of history telling us that evil spirits do exist and do manifest themselves through humans. So stop being “blissfully ignorant”… not just because you are clueless in handling or controlling or solving this matter ‘logically’ does it mean you can blissfully put it under a ‘fact-ful’ catagory that SOMEONE urgently needs to ‘scientifically investigate.’

    Bring Jesus on the scene and He will drive the evil spirits away. No sweat!

  3. Cayodawg says:

    What a shame someone had to be practicing some kind of evil ritual in that location probably not thinking that it would affect the children but as the saying says evil lives where it is practiced. Even the Bible teaches of such powerful evil forces, if my child would have been involved I would seek help through prayer and implore our God through his son to cleanse my child before it gets too out of control.

  4. Royal Rat says:

    Its important to note that this school is located in close proximity of the highway, where heavy traffic, some carrying chemicals pass all day long. It is quite possible that some escaping agent might have been flowing from a tanker and contaminated the air, which would in turn cause a major pool of stagnant air quality in a large congregation.

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