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Hysteria Outbreak Investigation in Kombolcha Town Among School Girls, Northwest Ethiopia, January, 2013
Science Journal of Public Health
Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2016, Pages: 37-42
Received: Dec. 26, 2015; Accepted: Jan. 5, 2016; Published: Jan. 29, 2016
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Mastewal Worku Lake, Amhara Regional State Health Bureau, Public Health Emergency Management Core Process, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Mulugeta Mebratu Erku, MSH/SCMS Project - Regional Health Systems Strengthening Unit, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Hiwot Amara Hailu, Bahirdar Regional Health Research Laboratory Centre, Bahirdar, Ethiopia
Adamu Addise Nuramo, Department of Preventive Medicine - Epidemiology Unit, School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Hysteria described for more than 600 years in a variety of cultures and settings for significant adverse of public health consequences and economic implications. The aim of this study was to investigate the outbreak, determine possible risk factors and guide intervention measures. In December 25, 2012, district health office notified to Regional Health Bureau about a suspected hysteria outbreak at Kombolcha General primary school. We investigated all 50 cases and compared with 100 matched controls. For the study, detailed discussions were also undertaken with school principal, teachers, students’ parents, district health officers and administrators about the event. Then data was analyzed using Epi Info version 7. Fifty cases and no death were identified. The mean age of all cases and controls was 13 with a range 9- 16 year. All were girls, and mostly friends (75%). The overall attack rate of the cases were 32 per 1000 populations in all age group. Using multivariate analysis, illness were remained as risk factors, perceive evil devil force (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 5.3 with 95% CI 2.3-12), psycho stress (AOR) 2.6, 95% CI 1.14-5.72) and seeing the affected students (AOR) 2.9; 95% CI 1.1-7.78). Knowledge of modes of transmission illness (AOR) 0.48, 95% CI 0.24-0.96) and separation of girls from the environment at least for 1-2 weeks (AOR) 0.49, (95% CI 0.22-0.98) were remained as protective factors for the illness. The study confirmed the hysteria outbreak in Kombolcha Town of school girls at General Primary school. And threatening situation was associated with a socio-cultural belief with psycho stress. We recommended conducting immediate reassurance, separate therapy, create community awareness about the illness and counseling at the school could be possible to manage events.
Hysteria, Primary Schoolgirls, Outbreak, Kombolcha, Ethiopia
To cite this article
Mastewal Worku Lake, Mulugeta Mebratu Erku, Hiwot Amara Hailu, Adamu Addise Nuramo, Hysteria Outbreak Investigation in Kombolcha Town Among School Girls, Northwest Ethiopia, January, 2013, Science Journal of Public Health. Vol. 4, No. 1, 2016, pp. 37-42. doi: 10.11648/j.sjph.20160401.15
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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