Erin Brockovich To Investigate Mystery Illness At Le Roy High School
UPDATED JAN. 30: CNN reported that the Le Roy Central School District is hiring an outside environmental testing company to test Le Roy High School and the surrounding community.
"Our community has suddenly found itself at the center of national attention due to the students who have been exhibiting neurological symptoms," school district superintendent Kim M. Cox said in a statement, CNN reported. "This has led to much speculation, conjecture and misinformation in the national media and consequently within our community."
For more, read CNN's report.
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What's causing the mysterious tic-like illness affecting 15 students at Le Roy High School in New York?
The famous environmental activist Erin Brockovich is aiming to get to the bottom of it.
USA Today reported that Brockovich -- the woman who linked cancer cases with toxic drinking water in California, spurring a 2000 movie starring Julia Roberts -- is going to launch her own investigation into the cause of the illness that has now affected 14 girls and one boy at the school.
Brockovich is getting involved upon finding out that there was a toxic chemical spill that occurred near the school 40 years ago, thereby contaminating the water and ground, USA Today reported.
"We're just trying to eliminate everything, and she wants to eliminate that it's the environment," Don Miller, whose 16-year-old daughter is one of the girls affected by the illness, told ABC News. "It's a possibility and she wants to either prove it is or it isn't something in the environment."
However, the New York Department of Health has not found that there is any environmental or infectious cause of the mystery illness, with department spokesman Jeffrey Hammond telling ABC News that "the school is served by a public water system. ... An environmental exposure would affect many people."
But Brockovich told USA Today: "When I read reports like this that the New York Department of Health and state agencies were well-aware of the spill and you don't do water testing or vapor extraction tests, you don't have an all-clear."
Recently, Dr. Laszlo Mechtler, a neurologist who has seen some of the girls with the mystery illness, told MSNBC that he has diagnosed them with conversion disorder, which is when there is high levels of stress or conflict that is manifesting itself physically.
ABC News reported that PANDAS -- a strept-related neurological disorder -- and side effects of taking the HPV vaccine Gardasil have been ruled out as possible causes of the illness.
A few months ago, 12 girls began exhibiting the strange Tourette-like tics. Just this week, the New York State Health Department confirmed that two more girls and one boy are now exhibiting the strange symptoms, WGRZ, an NBC affiliate, reported.
The symptoms include outbursts, shaking and tics, similar to Tourette Syndrome. Tourette is characterized by tics, which include things like eye-blinking, head-jerking, eye-darting, shoulder-shrugging and yelling or throat-clearing -- all of it uncontrolled, according to the Mayo Clinic.
"I used to cheer every day ... I used to go to two art classes every day," Thera Sanchez, one of the girls with the illness, told NBC last week. "Now I'm not in school."