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Article
August 24, 1912

Beriberi Caused by Rice Stored in Damp

Author Affiliations

New York, Late Chief Medical Inspector Royal Siamese Government

JAMA. 1912;LIX(8):668. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270080350024

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Abstract

To the Editor:  —I have been much interested in reading the comments on beriberi in The Journal. I cannot agree with the present theory of the cause; I believe that it is largely due to rice being stored in a damp place. No other construction can be placed on the cause of the great epidemic at Chiengmai in the north of Siam, which occurred several years ago after the wettest season in twenty years. During this epidemic hundreds of people died of beriberi on the side of the river where the floods were the worst and very few on the high side. These people all eat the unmilled rice, the kind that the scientists tell us will cure the disease. I have had an extensive experience with beriberi and never saw it except when the rice used for food had been stored in a damp place; when care was taken

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