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March 19, 1982

Prevalence of Diphyllobothriasis

JAMA. 1982;247(11):1566. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320360018019

To the Editor.—  I enjoyed reading the editorial "Diphyllobothriasis" (1981; 246:2483), if for no other reason than it reminded me of my recent reading of a similar fish tapeworm epidemic in New York City some years ago.1 However, I disagree with the statement that the prevalence or increase of the infestation can be ascertained or judged by the number of requests for the latest specific medication received by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), especially since there are and have been on the market a number of other effective antihelmintics.2 The increase in the number of requests received by the CDC for niclosamide may reflect only an increase in awareness by the prescribing physicians in the possibility of obtaining this medication from a single source and not an increase in incidence or prevalence, since a good number of physicians continue to prescribe one or the other of the