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July 25, 1891

The Island of St. Kilda.

JAMA. 1891;XVII(4):159. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410820035008

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Abstract

—A cablegram from London, July 21, 1891, to the daily papers, calls attention to a mysterious malady which is affecting new born infants on the little island. It says:

"The symptoms of the disease appear about the eighth day from birth. The hands close and remain rigid; a kind of lockjaw follows; the muscles of the face contract; the mouth is closed, and in a few hours more death ensues. From the appearance of the first symptoms until dissolution, twenty-four hours elapse. One family have lost twelve children in this way, and all the families on the island have lost from two to eight children by the singular disease. The first-born of each family generally lives. The doctors are inclined to attribute the malady partly to the habit among the islanders of intermarrying among blood relatives, and partly to the fact that the diet of the people is limited almost

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