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January 3, 1931


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pathology, City Hospital.

JAMA. 1931;96(1):14-16. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720270016003

During the spring and early summer of 1930 many cases of multiple paralysis occurred throughout the country, following the drinking of a certain type of jamaica ginger. Most of the patients at the Worcester City Hospital admitted that they had taken jamaica ginger so labeled, either as a beverage or as a medicine, from four days to over two weeks previous to the onset of paralysis. There was in all patients a paralysis of the extensor muscles of the feet and toes, and most patients showed a paralysis or weakness of the extensors of the hands and fingers. Most of the patients also showed marked weakness in flexion of the fingers and adduction of the thumbs.

Of the sixty-two patients in the hospital, three men died from causes other than from the sequelae of jamaica ginger poisoning. These three cases were examined post mortem and the anatomic diagnoses as given

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