Mysterious hallucination-causing illness seemingly spread by touch hits US hospital

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Authorities in Coos Bay, Oregon say that five people were affected by a hallucination-causing substance seemingly spread by touch, but exactly what the corrupting agent is remains unknown.

According to Oregon Live, the first victim, a 54-year-old caregiver taking care of a 78-year-old patient, called the Coos County Sheriff's Office twice from late Tuesday to early Wednesday, reporting that up to eight people were breaking into her car by trying to tear its roof off.

Though no evidence of such a crime was discovered, after the second call, deputies suspected the caregiver was seeing things and transported her to an area hospital, notes KVAL.

Not long after, the responding deputies, a hospital employee, and the 78-year-old patient began experiencing hallucinations as well.

For a time, it was thought the fentanyl patch being worn by the elderly woman was the cause of the outbreak, but it has since been ruled out.

Thus far, investigators have examined all affected, but have yet to isolate the cause.

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A seized counterfeit hydrocodone tablets in the investigation of a rash of fentanyl overdoses in northern California is shown in this Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) photo released on April 4, 2016. At least 42 drug overdoses in the past two weeks have been reported in northern California, 10 of them fatal, in what authorities on Monday called the biggest cluster of poisonings linked to the powerful synthetic narcotic fentanyl ever to hit the U.S. West Coast. REUTERS/Drug Enforcement Administration/Handout via Reuters
Fentanyl Citrate, a CLASS II Controlled Substance as classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency in the secure area of a local hospital Friday, July10, 2009. Joe Amon / The Denver Post (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
This undated photo provided by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examinerâs Office shows fentanyl pills. Authorities say they've arrested Ryan Gaston, a man in a Cleveland suburb after seizing more than 900 fentanyl pills marked liked tablets of the less-potent opiate oxycodone. The Cuyahoga County medical examiner said that lookalike pills were likely to blame for some of the county's 19 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in January 2016. (Cuyahoga County Medical Examinerâs Office via AP)
A collection of different brand and dosages of the Fentanyl patch, clearly marked wit warnings about non-precribed uses, Wednesday, April 26,2006 in St. Louis. Abuse of the patch is on a steady upward swing leading to many deaths. Emergency rooms visits by people misusing the pain relieving opiate fentanyl shot up nearly 14-fold nationwide from 2000 to 2004 to 8,000, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' figures. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

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