Mysterious disease? Eregi Girls students suffering from panic, medics say

Wesonga told The Standard that the learners were suffering from a psychological problem known as hysteria as the tests failed to detect any pathogen.

"We conducted culture and sensitive tests for the students admitted to local hospitals and there were no infections of whosoever, the children were suffering from psychological problems that could have caused panic among them," said Wesonga.

He said it is possible for learners to become immobile and develop weak limbs especially when they panic and all required to address the problem is guiding and counseling them.

Culture and Sensitivity tests help diagnose any infection in a patient. The process involves taking a tissue or fluid sample from the body of a patient and testing it to see if germs will grow in it.

Samples vary from blood, urine, sputum, stool, skin or wound site, genital tract, throat or nares.

However, if enough bacteria grow from a person's culture, the test result is considered positive meaning that one is likely to have an infection and vice versa.

The number of learners from Eregi Girls who were admitted to different hospitals in Kakamega County rose from 95 to 106 on Wednesday.

At least 46 students were discharged and allowed to go home on Thursday with 60 others still being observed by medics.

"We have started releasing some of the learners to go home, the 46 discharged are stable and the remaining 60 are manageable and we hope to release them any time," said Wesonga.

On Wednesday Education officials in the Western region and the school management bowed to pressure from parents to close down the school temporarily with learners expected to report back between Monday and Thursday next week.

Western Regional Education Director Jared Obiero, said there was unrest in school on Tuesday evening after learners demanded to accompany their parents home.

"After an impromptu meeting with parents, we decided to talk to learners but they became rowdy and they started throwing stones. They even pelted a vehicle belonging to one of our education officials and smashed window pens," said Obiero.

He said the Principal Secretary for Basic Education called and after consulting it was decided that Form One students report back on Monday followed by Form Fours on Tuesday, Form Twos on Wednesday and Form Threes will be the last group to report on Thursday.