Health Officials Investigate the Cause of Va. “Twitching” Disease

Published: November 8, 2007

VINTON, Va. – Officials are investigating a mysterious “twitching” disease that has affected students and staff at William Byrd High School.

The symptoms of the disease are spells of twitching and uncontrollable arm spasms, accompanied by dizziness and headaches. Less than 10 students have been affected by the illness; however, 30 students staged a walkout and protest, and of the 1,200 students who attend the high school, approximately 300 students have not been in attendance.

There are no plans to close the school.

A medical investigator from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will assist a team to figure out the source of the mysterious symptoms.

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Epidemiologists are conversing with the affected individuals and looking through medical records to decipher if the individuals have anything in common. They are looking to see if they all breathed the same air, touched the same surfaces or if they spend a lot of time together.

Other health officials tested the school’s water and air. The school was also checked for mold; however, the school did not have any.

Some parents and students have indicated they hope the school is closed down until the disease is under control.

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