State Health Department officials are disputing claims that a mystery illness is sweeping through Richland High school. Parents contacted Three On Your Side claiming some children are experiencing unusual fainting spells. A problem that began last year.
A couple of parents are worried there could be a common cause for the mystery illness. A woman who has a 7th grade daughter at Richland high declined to go on camera but told us something odd may be occurring at the school. So did her friend.
Ashley Branch, her friend, has two children in the school. Both came to WLBT Wednesday to talk with us.
"My concern now is a viral illness," said Branch. "They tested for black mold, they tested for gases and they have tested the high school gymnasium and the cafeteria. It comes back there is nothing being seen."
One young mother claims at least 10 children have been diagnosed with (POTS) including her 13 year old daughter. It causes lightheadedness or fainting along with a rapid increase in heartbeat.
The February 5, 2014 diagnosis indicated her daughter will need to be allowed to keep fluids (water, Gatorade) with her during the school day and she must be allowed to go to the restroom without consequences during the day as well.
The diagnosis from a UMMC Neurologist who treated the mother's 7th grader with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardiac Syndrome, says this form of illness is more likely to occur after a pregnancy, major surgery trauma or a viral illness.
The medical records we were shown by the student's mother clearly indicated her child suffered a concussion earlier this year.
I called the State Department of Health. They did a thorough investigation after the same complaints last year. And the findings came to this conclusion; there is no mystery illness.
They found no common source in the environment or school that could cause such an illness. Richland High School is safe and healthy.
A letter detailing the findings was sent to the head of the Rankin County School District.
The Rankin County School District sent this statement in response to the situation:
"Rankin County School District (RCSD) is closely monitoring the situation at Richland High School. We take all health related issues very seriously. Our first priority is to make sure all of our students are in a healthy and safe learning environment. RCSD has been working closely with the Mississippi Department of Health. RCSD requested an on-site inspection at Richland High School. After an on-site inspection and review of reported incidents, it was determined by the Mississippi Department of Health that there was no evidence of any association with the school facility or any common source exposure."
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