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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
September 10, 2014

Nodding Syndrome Prevalence

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JAMA. 2014;312(10):993. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.10732

Public health investigators have for the first time used a standardized case definition to estimate the prevalence of nodding syndrome in northern Uganda.

Nodding syndrome, a type of epilepsy that primarily affects children and teens, has been reported in 3 sub-Saharan countries: Uganda, South Sudan, and Tanzania. In Uganda’s Kitgum District, case reports had been increasing since 2003. There, as well as in the nearby Lamwo and Pader Districts, village health teams in July 2012 carried out a house-to-house census to identify persons with reported head nodding. The investigators subsequently used a standardized questionnaire to further classify cases based on a consensus case definition drafted at the first International Scientific Meeting on Nodding Syndrome, also in July 2012.

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