Monday, September 15, 2014

Hundreds of girls taken to hospital after mass fainting spell linked to cervical cancer vaccine hits Colombia

200 girls have come down with symptoms from faintness to numb hands

  • The girls, aged between nine and 16, all injected with vaccine Gardasil
  • Parents blame authorities and the drug's American manufacturer, Merck
  • But Health Minister says there is no evidence that vaccine is to blame
  • Local doctor says symptoms began in May and have increased since

A mystery illness has overwhelmed a small town in northern Colombia as scores of teenage girls have been hospitalized with symptoms that parents fear could be an adverse reaction to a popular vaccine against cervical cancer.

Authorities say they still don't know what caused more than 200 girls in El Carmen de Bolivar to come down with symptoms ranging from fainting to numbness in the hands and headaches. 

Some have hinted that the town of 95,000 near Colombia's Caribbean coast could be experiencing a rare case of mass hysteria. 
Mystery: Authorities say they don't know what caused more than 200 girls in El Carmen de Bolivar to grow ill. But parents say they were all injected with a vaccine against cervical cancer (stock image)
Mystery: Authorities say they don't know what caused more than 200 girls in El Carmen de Bolivar to grow ill. But parents say they were all injected with a vaccine against cervical cancer (stock image)

Parents are on edge however because all the girls, ranging in ages from 9 to 16, were injected in recent months with the vaccine Gardasil. On Wednesday, residents marched peacefully to demand a thorough investigation.

Francisco Vega, the town's mayor and a trained physician, told The Associated Press that illnesses first appeared at the end of May and have been steadily increasing since. Over the weekend 120 girls were rushed to hospitals, collapsing the town's limited medical facilities. None of their symptoms were life-threatening and all have since been released, he said.
 


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2756213/Hundreds-girls-taken-hospital-mass-fainting-spell-linked-cervical-cancer-vaccine-hits-Colombia.html#ixzz3DPJsos8A
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