Pellagra is a disease which has been known in Italy and other European southern countries for nearly three hundred years. It has since been reported from most semitropical countries from Asia Minor to Texas. In the United States isolated cases were several times reported, but the disease was not known to occur in quantity until 1907, when it was recognized independently by Merrill, Searcy and Babcock. Up to the present time probably five thousand cases have been recognized in the United States, chiefly confined to the south Atlantic states and one or two states in the middle west. The disease is unquestionably rapidly increasing in the United States and although it might have existed in this country unrecognized for many years, still it must have been extremely rare until 1907. It now bids fair to become a national problem.
As pellagra is so frequently reported in numbers from the institutions
TUCKER BR. PELLAGRA, WITH THE ANALYTICAL STUDY OF FIFTY-FIVE NON-INSTITUTIONAL OR SPORADIC CASES. JAMA. 1911;LVI(4):246–251. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560040014005
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