Content from external source:
A case of mass psychogenic illness in Chechnya in 2005 and a similarincident in California in 2003 highlight an additional factor to consider in the response
to terrorist attacks, particularly those involving chemical, biological, or radiological
(CBR) weapons. The number of those suffering psychogenic illness could far exceed
the number of actual casualties in a CBR event.
Mass Psychogenic Illness:
A phenomenon in which social trauma or anxiety combines with a suspicious event to produce
psychosomatic symptoms, such as nausea, difficulty breathing, and paralysis. If many individuals
come to believe that the psychosomatic outbreak is connected to the cause of the trauma or anxiety,
these symptoms can spread rapidly throughout a population.