10 Bizarre Cases Of Mass Hysteria

3. Strawberries With Sugar Virus (2006)


A popular TV show in Portugal called Morangos com Açúcar (Strawberries with Sugar) aired an episode of the show in which a life-threatening virus affected the fictional school. The following day 300 or more students across 14 schools reported similar symptoms to those experienced by characters in their favourite TV show.

Their symptoms included rashes, difficulty breathing, and dizziness and before anyone made the connection between the over-dramatic teenagers and the TV show, many schools were forced to shut down fearing there was a serious medical outbreak.

The illness was eventually dismissed by The Portuguese National Institute for Medical Emergency as mass hysteria, once the connection between the TV show and the epidemic were made.

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