Delta workers hospitalized after mass hysteria attack

TN News

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More than 40 female workers were hospitalized in the Mekong Delta’s Long An Province Thursday in what appears to be a strange case of mass hysteria.

Around 100 women began crying copiously, and collapsed with their faces turning red, local reports said.

Two women were sent to the Can Giuoc District hospital and 40 to Nha Be Hospital in the neighboring Ho Chi Minh City after the incident happened at around 10a.m. at the bag-making factory of the South Korean Simone company.

Others recovered on their own. Health authorities have not figured out what caused their condition, but suspected it was a case of hysteria.

“I saw her crying and moving her arms and legs like a psychic. Several minutes later, I began crying and felt tired. I saw myself in the hospital when I woke up,” a worker named Tuyet was quoted by newswire Vnexpress as saying about a colleague.

Many others in the hospital also said they became fearful and began crying after they saw others doing so.

They felt tired, had difficult breathing and collapsed, workers said.

Dr. Phung Thi Xuan at Nha Be Hospital said the workers’ condition was not critical.

The first woman having the symptom, who was not identified, said she only remembered feeling something stuck in her chest and had no idea what she did after that.

All the sick workers said they had smelled nothing strange and they’d had their own breakfast, not from a canteen.

Phan Van Nghiem, a doctor from HCMC Health Department, said some workers might have their sugar levels drop as they didn’t have breakfast, and others caught the symptoms because of “psychological infection”.

Nguyen Huu Tho, director of the Nha Be Hospital, told Tuoi Tre hysteria might be the cause. The paper also reported that some workers said they’d seen ghosts in the toilet and made others terrified.

The managers of Simone, where more than 3,000 workers went on a two-day wildcat strike last month asking for timely payment of their salaries, health and social insurance, and not being forced to work overtime, have not been available for further information or comments.

Reported by Thanh Tung

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