Children in New York Contract Mysterious Illness, Federal Government Preventing Disclosure of Disease

January 14th, 2012

Update: Mystery Teen Illness Grows in Upstate NY, More Cases Reported


The mystery illness now producing Tourette’s-like symptoms in a more than a dozen girls from upstate New York is also affecting a 36-year-old who is experiencing the same tics as the teens.

Nurse practitioner Marge Fitzsimmons, who has spent her whole life in LeRoy, N.Y., lives just a few miles from the school the teens attend.

“It started out with sudden head jerks in the middle of October,” Fitzsimmons told NBC News, the tics occasionally interfering with her ability to talk.

It got so bad she had to leave her job working with developmentally disabled patients until the tics subside.

“The motor tics wouldn’t stop, and the vocal tics started, and I went to one of the bosses and said I have to go.”

She hasn’t been back to work in two months. On a good day, Fitzsimmons said, the tics are sporadic. On a bad day, she cannot control them. Extensive testing – including a CAT scan and blood work – didn’t provide any answers, the same frustration experienced by the teens.

“When it first started I thought maybe I’m going crazy,” she said. “As an adult, I can’t imagine these teenagers going through this and for anyone to think that they’re faking it at all. Try living a day in their shoes.”

—End Update—

Update: More Le Roy Students Struck with ‘Mystery Illness,’ Parents Demand More Tests

Via: Liberty Confidential:

A handful of Le Roy parents gathered Sunday for a face-to-face discussion on whether or not they accept the conversion disorder diagnosis. Other topics included offers to help that had been extended from other health professionals, and whether or not to demand further environmental testing of school grounds.

Another topic for discussion: at least another 2 children have begun exhibiting similar symptoms as the other 12; and it’s possible that as many as 16 children have contracted this ‘mystery illness.’ (For obvious reasons, some parents are seeking to keep their children as far away from the media spotlight as possible.)

It was also recently revealed that Erin Brockovich has become interested in this case.

“We’re told Beth Miller has been speaking with her about this and that Erin Brockovich is disturbed by the lack of testing that’s been done at the school,” reported WHEC’s Christine VanTimmeren.

—End Update—

Update: ‘Teen Girls’ Mystery Illness Now Has a Diagnosis: Mass Hysteria’

Tell me another one.


The day after TODAY reported on the baffling case of 12 teenage girls at one school who mysteriously fell ill with Tourette’s-like symptoms of tics and verbal outbursts, a doctor who is treating some of the girls has come forward to offer an explanation. Dr. Laszlo Mechtler, a neurologist in Amherst, N.Y., says the diagnosis is “conversion disorder,” or mass hysteria.

“It’s happened before, all around the world, in different parts of the world. It’s a rare phenomena. Physicians are intrigued by it,” Mechtler told TODAY on Wednesday. “The bottom line is these teenagers will get better.”

On the show Tuesday, psychologist and TODAY contributor Dr. Gail Saltz noted that just because the girls’ symptoms may be psychological in origin doesn’t make them any less real or painful.

“That’s not faking it. They’re real symptoms,” Saltz continued. “They need a psychiatric or psychological treatment. Treatment does work.’’

Conversion disorder symptoms usually occur after a stress event, although a patient can be more at risk if also suffering from an illness. Symptoms may last for days or weeks and can include blindness, inability to speak, numbness or other neurologic problems.

It’s unclear which of the girls first showed symptoms, or whether any particular event triggered the outbreak. High school cheerleader and art student Thera Sanchez says her tics, stammer and verbal outbursts appeared out of the blue after a nap one day last October.

“I was fine. I was perfectly fine. There was nothing going on, and then I just woke up, and that’s when the stuttering started,” Sanchez told TODAY.

“I’m very angry,’’ Sanchez told TODAY’s Ann Curry during an interview Tuesday. “I’m very frustrated. No one’s giving me answers.’’

The New York State Health Department has been investigating the case for more than three months and says the school building is not to blame. Officials from the LeRoy Junior-Senior High School in upstate New York, where all the girls attended when their symptoms began, have released environmental reports, conducted by an outside agency, showing no substances in any of the school buildings that could cause health problems.

Health officials ruled out carbon monoxide, illegal drugs and other factors as potential causes. Officials say no one at the school is in any danger.

“We have conclusively ruled out any form of infection or communicable disease and there’s no evidence of any environmental factor,’’ Dr. Gregory Young of the New York Department of Health told NBC News.

But some of the girls’ parents say they’re not satisfied with the explanations so far.

“Obviously we are all not just accepting that this is a stress thing,” Jim Dupont, father of one of the affected girls, told TODAY on Wednesday. “It’s heart wrenching, you fear your daughter’s not going to have a normal life.”

—End Update—

They’re saying that the cause isn’t Gardasil:

NYS Health Department spokesman Jeff Hammond also says vaccines such as Gardasil were investigated as a cause and ruled out. (WGRZ)

Did these girls receive Gardasil vaccinations?

The diagnosis, which is apparently known by the government, is being kept from the girls and their families.

Here’s a question for any of the several medical doctors who regularly read Cryptogon:

Have you ever heard of doctors treating patients without telling them (or their families) what they’re being treated for?


Here’s a response from Dr. H in the U.S. I have edited this slightly to maintain Dr. H’s privacy:

Kevin, I’m an MD in [a state in the U.S.]. I’ve been in private practice since completing my residency in 2002.

The idea that the govt would not permit a doctor to tell a patient (or a peds patient’s parents/guardians) a diagnosis is insane. No physician I know would agree to that.

The sacred doctor-patient bond is more important than any edicts out of Washington. They might be able to issue gag orders to the courts, but they can’t gag me or my colleagues.

The one circumstance where it might make sense not to tell a patient a diagnosis would be if there were more harm from revealing the diagnosis–maybe Munchausen’s by proxy if the child were not physically there, abuse by the parent was suspected, and telling the parent that “we know you’ve been hurting your child for attention” might result in more harm to the kid before the child could be taken away from an abusive situation. What you wrote about doesn’t fit with that scenario, of course.

Saying “I know but won’t tell you what I know” is malpractice. Any atty will have tons of cash rolling in through torts if a doctor really said that.

You can use this email, but please don’t disclose my name.


Via: Liberty Confidential:

Late last year, 12 girls in New York were hit with strange symptoms that included spasms, and tics. Some children were so bad, and for so long, that they had to be pulled out of school and tutored at home. One who couldn’t return to school had seizures.

Parents have been demanding answers since late 2011.

An investigation was launched into why these children — all girls who attend the same school, Le Roy, in New York — have come down with this mysterious illness.

Visits to psychologists, medical doctors, MRIs, and more, have been conducted over the past months. Nothing has been revealed.

The story took an unsettling turn this week when a government health official told parents not to worry, that they know what’s been making the children suffer these symptoms; but that the government will not permit the disclosure of details, not even to the parents.

The official, from the state health department, called it a “federal issue.”

Posted in Health | Top Of Page

15 Responses to “Children in New York Contract Mysterious Illness, Federal Government Preventing Disclosure of Disease”

  1. steve holmes Says:

    The state official says it’s a federal issue? If I were one of the parents being stonewalled, that state official would be setting really familiar with “rendition” and “waterboarding.”
    This nation has a very long history of experimenting on innocent, non-consenting and uninformed people and the only thing such terrorists understand is someone holding a bigger stick. The legal system is a lost cause for these folks and nothing would get attention and answers faster than hostages taken at the department with major news media coverage tipped off in advance. What the feds are doing is nothing short of an act of war.
    Pass the popcorn…this should get interesting.

  2. steve holmes Says:

    My anger deserves clarification. Let’s start with one word: thalidamide. Now moving forward two generations, another word: wellbutrin. My grandson will never mature beyond 4 years old, suffers micro-cephaly, primordial dwarfism and has numerous holes in his heart because his pregnant mother was given wellbutrin. So were thousands of other pregnant women who have children with a defective chromosome specifically from that drug.
    I have a friend with a son who was completely normal until vaccines containing thimerosol burned out his brain leaving him severely artistic. That happened after the government granted the pharmaceutical company permission to use up existing stocks containing 100 times as much mercury as is now allowed…even though the government had exhaustive proof that thimerosol caused autism.
    What would YOU say or do if a neighbor poisoned your kid then declared immunity? I hope this situation becomes the tipping point where those playing God for the sake of profit learn to fear for their lives.

  3. luky Says:


    »“It’s just a lot of pressure on my neck and makes my back sore,” the teenager says about the mysterious condition that causes her head and neck to shake uncontrollably.«

    The combination of this and seizures reminds me at the “Head Nodding Syndrome” known in Africa. There is a scientific Article though no definite conclusions:

    And there is some media coverage coming from Uganda recently.

  4. Kevin Says:


    The link you mentioned states that head nodding disease is, “A progressive disease.”

    The material on this situation in New York describes acute onset of symptoms.

  5. ENERGYMAN Says:

    Commenting on this story in the Philadelphia location of the, Cathy M Zellmer writes….

    “This is happening at the college in Greenville, il my neighbor girl went to school over there and now they kicked her out because of the violent episodes that she has in the class room. Her doctors cannot figure out what is wrong with her!”

    And I combed thru several sites covering this story and
    has many comments that are amazing. The writer of the article asks the reader to simply question whether this incident seems to fit into a Gardasil vaccine scenario………and the commenters are going at it. It is so sad to see the lack of critical thinking skills among “adults”.

    One good point mentioned by one of the commenters is that the complete silence from the doctors and the feds is due to them needing time to figure out how they are going to frame this in a PR way and needing time for them to all get their stories straight.

  6. neologiste Says:

    of course it has nothing to do with gardasil. it’s not like flu vaccines can cause guillain-barre syndrome or anything…

    gardasil is the most absurd and dangerous scam i can think of and parents who subject their girls to that… i don’t even know what to say. it only MAYBE prevents “some” strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancer! WTF people?! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CANCER VACCINE.

    how about preaching safe sex and frequent STD testing instead??

    silly me, i forgot i’m just a crazy radical feminist devil worshipper.

  7. tal Says:

    The latest (Dec. 2011) study:

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine policy and evidence-based medicine: Are they at odds?

    from 2009:

    Gardasil Researcher Speaks Out

    from 2007:

    Questions over human papillomavirus vaccine in the US and Australia

  8. pessimistic optimist Says:

    page 3 by now, but after that update, im assuming the worst. also if this isnt the gardasil, im guessing this falls into the 99% of mk ultra that wasnt exposed by the acounting file found in the basement? maybe something to do w/ the glossolalia that has shown up recently in news reporters, or more accurately wahtever was done to them to cause it?

    or perhaps it is hysteria, like in 1518. aka noF*ckinidea

    but wait, “that they know what’s been making the children suffer these symptoms” so the symptoms are just an unfortunate side effect.

    nothing to see here move along citizen

  9. tal Says:

    from Indianapolis on Jan 19:

    HPV vaccine forum turns emotional

    “Tears, anger and recriminations marked an emotionally charged forum meant to educate the public about the HPV vaccine Wednesday night.

    At the forum, held at the community room of public television station WFYI in Indianapolis, IU Health scientist Darron Brown, one of the creators of the Gardasil vaccine, along with other HPV vaccine advocates, were on the defensive when parents confronted them with questions about the vaccine’s safety.

    “And I don’t – I don’t understand why you’re attacking me personally,” said a bewildered Brown as parent, Jill Turkupolis, pummeled him with questions about his failure to respond to her repeated e-mails about her daughter’s health problems following the Gardasil vaccination.

    Turkupolis wasn’t the only parent with tough questions for the panel.

  10. tal Says:

    Mysterious disease breaks out

    A mysterious disease has broken out at MATUKU Basic School in Mkushi District of Central Province leaving 13 girls mentally unstable.

    ZNBC ‘S LILLIAN KALABA Reports that Both Mkushi District Commissioner JACKSON MUTALE and the District Education Board Secretary MWENYA MWAMBA confirmed the development.

    Mr MWAMBA said learning at the institution has been disturbed by the disease which has affected some girls in grades seven, eight and nine.

    AND Mr MUTALE said the affected girls go in a trance and exhibit signs of being possed by evil spirits.

    He said the girls were also violent, uncontrollabe and producing loud piercing screams creating fear at the school which has 588 pupils.

    He disclosed that church leaders and pastors from various denominations are currently at the school to conduct prayers as the diseases can not be cured by medical personnel.

    MEANWHILE Mr MWABA has appealed to parents with Children at the school to remain calm and continue praying for the 13 girls.

  11. tal Says:

    Rolling out the HPV in Zambia. Looks like they’re a little ahead of schedule:

    Cervical cancer vaccine coming

  12. pessimistic optimist Says:

    train chemical spill maybe?

  13. tal Says:

    nine articles from VaxTruth on the “LeRoy 12” (now 15)

    including this one that exposes Dr Laszlo Mechtler as having accepted $116,725 in speaking fees from GlaxoSmithKline and Merck Pharmaceuticals in 2009 (the most recent year for which figures are available. Happily, the parents have ‘fired’ him from the case.

  14. tal Says:

    One more:

    Family sues after teen dies following HPV vaccination

    Earlier Canadian court decision (from Dec, 07,2011):

    Can Prozac Cause Kids to Kill? A Canadian Judge Has Ruled it Can

  15. tal Says:

    Tics and Toxins: New Evidence Raises Pesticide Concerns in New York State Outbreak

    Conversion disorder is often described as a diagnosis of exclusion, in which physical causes are methodically ruled out first. Strikingly, Tundra, the pesticide sprayed on the field, has been shown to cause symptoms in animals that parallel those suffered by the girls, who in addition to tics had trouble walking and standing and suffered breathing problems, strange sensations, seizures and blackouts.

    Bifenthrin, the active chemical in the pesticide, was banned in Europe until last week because of safety concerns.

    When fed to rats at high doses, symptoms included “tremors, clonic [rapid muscle contraction/relaxation] convulsions, twitching, incoordination, staggered gait, splayed hind limbs, atypical posture,” according to a Technical Fact Sheet from the National Pesticide Information Center.

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