European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 101–113 | Cite as

On the origin of mass casualty incidents in Kosovo, Yugoslavia, in 1990

  • Z. Radovanovic
Report on Eastern Europe


In March 1990, a mysterious outbreak of illness spread suddenly among thousands of ethnic Albanian high school students in Kosovo (Yugoslavia). It was an unprecedented event on the worldwide scale both in terms of the number of cases and in terms of controversies concerning the aetiology. A retrospective analysis indicated that the epidemic consisted mainly of cases who felt ill in the absence of exposure to any physical agent. It is suggested that in an atmosphere of severe tension between the two ethnic groups living in Kosovo an increased frequency of respiratory infections may have triggered mass sociogenic illness.

Key words

Emergency medicine Epidemics Mass casualty Mass hysteria Mass sociogenic disease Kosovo (Yugoslavia) 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. Radovanovic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community Medicine & Behavioural SciencesFaculty of MedicineSafatKuwait

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