DELHI — In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, doctors around India have treated thousands
of people suffering from a new ailment called BNS or 'Breaking News' Syndrome. It primarily affects viewers of CNN-IBN and NDTV, causing many of them to walk around in a dazed state, the words 'Breaking News' flashing across their eyes.
"They have been watching the news nonstop," said Dr. Vikas Bose of Bose Clinic. "Every few seconds, the words 'Breaking News' appear on the screen and eventually the words become embedded in their brains. It's like a soldier returning from war and being unable to see anything else but the terrible carnage."
Doctors at Apollo Hospital treated one man who kept rubbing his eyes, trying desperately to stop the two words from flashing. "We had to sedate him and then apply a topical ointment to his eyes," said Dr. Mahesh Das. "It seems to have worked, but the man is now rubbing his ears, saying that he keeps hearing Sagarika Ghose's voice."
The most unusual case was recorded in Calcutta, where a man named Gopalakrishnan complained that the word "breaking" was flashing in his left eye and "news" in his right eye. "I'm not sure how it happened," he said. "Perhaps I should not have been sitting so close to the TV."
A woman in Chennai reported that her husband woke up in the middle of the night screaming, "Breaking News! Breaking News! Breaking News!"
"I couldn't get him to stop," said the middle-aged woman, who requested anonymity. "I tried everything. Then finally my son suggested that I put CNN-IBN on. And do you know what my husband did? He got a brick and shattered the TV screen. I think he thought he was breaking the news!"