'Mass psychogenic illness' hits Bangladesh factory workers

Dhaka, June 18 (ANI): Bangladesh factory workers have been reportedly hit by 'mass psychogenic illness' and have not fallen sick due to contaminated water.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, 450 garment workers fell ill at the Starlight Sweater factory near Dhaka due to possible contamination, but doctors say that 'mass hysteria' is to be blamed for the recent outbreak of sickness and not water contamination.

The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease control and Research in Bangladesh carried out tests of water samples and did not find any unusual contaminants in the water.

Director of the institute, Dr. Mahmudur Rahman, found it to be a result of 'mass psychogenic illness'.

According to the report, since the collapse of the Rana Plaza building, Bangladesh's garment industry has been troubled with shutdowns and agitations resulting in panic amongst workers.

President of the Garment Workers' Unity Forum, Mushrefa Mishu said that there is fear persisting among the workers since the incident especially women who make up 80 percent of the workers' of the industry.

Dr. Rahman said that water supply to these factories is not fit for drinking, however, most of the workers who came to the hospital recovered shortly adding that dehydration and empty stomachs during summers are also contributing factors to the outbreak.

He further said that such illness can be treated with counseling and the patients recover very soon.

The recurrence of the illness has prompted the Bangladesh government to take up measures for implementing heath program to contain such illness, the report added. (ANI)


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