IN­FEC­TIOUS LAUGH

TAN­GANYIKA LAUGH­TER EPI­DEMIC

History Revealed - - TOP TEN… MASS HYSTERIA EVENTS -

If laugh­ter is the best medicine, this proves it can also be the ill­ness. On 30 Jan­uary 1962, three girls at a board­ing school in Kashasha, Tan­ganyika (now Tan­za­nia), got the gig­gles dur­ing class. The teacher may have ini­tially scolded them as trou­ble­mak­ers, but the laugh­ter spread. Hys­ter­i­cal fits lasted be­tween a few min­utes and 16 days. The school even­tu­ally sent the girls home, tak­ing the in­fec­tion with them. In all, 14 schools had to close.

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