NY Mystery Illness Strikes Chord With Local Families

Carol Daniel

O’FALLON, Ill. (KMOX) –  Two families in the Metro East can identify with the mysterious illness that has caused about a dozen teenage girls in New York to suddenly develop uncontrollable spasms.

But Catherine Dreher and Kim Eplett, both from O’Fallon Missouri, were able to solve their own medical mysteries.

Late last month, Dreher’s 7-year-old son suddenly started displaying physical tics that resembled Tourette’s Syndrome.

“Overnight he just started having really bad motor tics with his head and shoulders, rolling his eyes and coughing,” Dreher explained to KMOX’s Carol Daniel.

She immediately wrote about the problem on her Facebook page.

Kim Eplett, a family friend, wrote back telling Dreher to have her son tested for strep.

That test came up positive and the boy was placed on antibiotics.

Dreher says her son’s symptoms all but disappeared as quickly as they had manifested.

It turns out Eplett had gone through a similar ordeal about three years ago with her then 13-year-old son.

She told her pediatrician about her own father’s battle with strep 70 years earlier which caused him to display involuntary physical movements.

Eplett expressed her opinion that her son might be suffering with something called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS), a brain infection believed to be related to strep.

“He discounted it, said PANDAS pretty much didn’t exist,” Eplett said of her pediatrician at the time.

But eventually, Kim’s son would be diagnosed with PANDAS, as well as Tourette’s.

Anti-biotics are keeping his tics to a minimum these days.

She has some advice for the parents of those New York victims.

“It’s okay to tell somebody ‘I don’t believe you, I want to talk to somebody else’.”

KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Chuck

    This is nonsense. Antibiotics do not resolve the tics. Temporary improvement is common, but then the tics come back. Tics and Tourett’s like symptoms are commonly seen after the guardasil vaccine.

  • Resist_Lies

    THE ANSWER TO 1984 IS 1776


  • GM

    @Chuck, Can you expand on that? Is it known whether the group of girls from NY have received similar vaccinations? If anyone knew, would they be talking? It caught my eye at the beginning of the article that it was stated “a dozen teenage girls” and thought it odd that was gender specific. Any further insight and especially sources would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • Uncle Reggie

    This story illustrates one glaring problem with health care in this country – arrogant physicians. Don’t ever try to tell your physician that you know what is ailing you. Almost universally they will get their back up and dispute you and deny any evidence you present. A bunch of thinner skinned egomaniacs never walked the face of the earth. They would watch you die rather than admit that you might have a clue what your affliction might be.

    • FreemonSandlewould

      aint that the truth

  • Brittany Kramer

    Two words LYME DISEASE

  • http://deathby1000papercuts.com/2012/02/new-york-mystery-illness-eight-girls-diagnosed-with-strep-related-panda-like-illnesses/ New York Mystery Illness: Eight Girls Diagnosed with Strep Related PANDA-like Illnesses | DBKP - Death By 1000 Papercuts - DBKP

    […] Another report on a strep throat connection, CBS St. Louis’ NY Mystery Illness Strikes Chord With Local Families. […]

  • tdrag

    Maybe it was the toilet bowl cleaner they were smoking .

  • Jack Davis

    Mad Cow disease.

  • Martin Adamo

    It is possible that a STREP A infection caused an agressive immune response that affected part of the brain. Auto immune illnesss are more common in women. The girls might have had contact (the ones in Leroy, the girl who played softball in Leroy but who lived in Corinth). It is also possible it is the softball field and chemicals that either ARE there or WERE there when that girl visited. It is NOT conversion disorder. which be definition is related to some anxiety driven event like smelling gas in a room usually involves things like fainting, rapid heart beat, breathing difficulties etc. USE YOUR HEAD.. we all grew up in schools. Do you EVER remember any mass hysteria like illness that lasted 9 months? Do you remember an outbreak of tic disorfer? We are led to believe this stuff is normal. happens all the time and is just in their heads. BOLOGNA… same thing the Govt said about hte 90-100% mystery rash cases in hundreds of schools.

  • S

    It is none of the above- not drinking water, not vaccines, not PANDAS. The reason that we must retain the hypothesis that it is none of the above is that there is not evidence that it is any of the above. The way that rational thinking, rather than suspicious/paranoid thinking works is that without evidence, we cannot conclude that such a relationship exists. Antibiotics could “work” simply because of a placebo effect. This is not a controlled study. Rather, a couple of people report getting rid of their tics by taking antibiotics. That’s not evidence of anything. It’s as likely that it’s a placebo effect as it is likely that the antibiotic is having the intended effect. Many children develop tics and very often the tics wax and wane and ultimately disappear. The explanation of conversion disorder, provided by the doctor involved in the case, may hold water for some of the girls if not all.

  • dee gates

    I see alot of the symptoms to the st vitas dance disease syndenhams chorea first more women have strep is on the rise many of the girls may not dance until they drop but in this disease it is contagious but your immune system presents it different ways conversion disorder will happen in a few of the teenagers due to stress of their friends tics but majority of girls suffering from a different version o st vitas a specialist for strep would be helpful he or she would notice versions and maybe even name the new disease as far as the 1st student who gets it immune system presents the type it will be

  • http://www.russellsfreight.com/car-shipping-to-yangon-myanmar-burma Shipping Cars to Myanmar

    Shipping Cars to Myanmar…

    NY Mystery Illness Strikes Chord With Local Families « CBS St. Louis…

blog comments powered by Disqus
Listen Now
Thanksgiving Guide
Make Your Picks!

Listen Live