The special form of endemic neuritis, known as beri-beri, is a widely disseminated disease in many tropical countries. Occasional epidemics also appear elsewhere, e. g., among Newfoundland fishermen and in British prisons. The disease may also be brought north in crews returning from the tropics. Great diversity and uncertainty of opinion prevail as to the real cause of this disease. Many regard it as a form of food poisoning; others as the result of fish diet; others, again, as a true infectious disease. Hamilton Wright, who has had excellent opportunity to study beri-beri in the Malay states, adopts the last view, for the reason that in a prison in which this disease had been endemic for years, he observed the development of the disease in prisoners in certain cells and also in monkeys placed within the same cells and fed properly. It seemed as if the cause was resident in
BERI-BERI. JAMA. 1904;XLII(21):1361. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490660033015
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