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March 13, 1972

Epidemic Neuromyasthenia: A Syndrome or Disease?

Author Affiliations

From the Infectious Diseases Service, Department of Medicine, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Dr. Reinarz is now with the Infectious Disease Branch, Department of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Tex.

JAMA. 1972;219(11):1440-1443. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190370032007

From mid-July through late September 1970, 221 persons developed an illness characterized by acute gastroenteritis, myalgias, and lethargy. Encephalopathy became evident in 18 patients. The latter was relapsing and had a slow convalescence. Physical findings were few, and laboratory examinations were not helpful in establishing a diagnosis. This epidemic appears to be a variant of so-called "epidemic neuromyasthenia," which may be more common than medical literature would indicate.

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