Mass hysteria is more common when the environment is restrictive and atmosphere oppressive as endured by schoolchildren. FILE PIC

THE toxic gas pollution in Pasir Gudang, Johor, is more likely to be a case of mass hysteria, as no other persons are affected except for schoolgirls.

Mass hysteria among school girls is common and can be a distressing occurrence with hyperventilation, crying, convulsions and even loss of consciousness.

This phenomenon is more common when the environment is restrictive and the atmosphere is oppressive as is often endured by schoolchildren.

It is not life threatening, except if convulsions happen as this may cause a blockage in the respiratory tract.

DATUK DR LOOI HOONG WAH

Fellow, Academy of Medicine Malaysia