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October 1958


Author Affiliations

416 N. Bedford Dr. Beverly Hills, Calif.

AMA Arch Derm. 1958;78(4):507. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560100083016

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To the Editor:—I stopped this particular "epidemic of head lice" A. M. A. Arch. Dermat. [July] 1958) when I explained to the authorities that those who were examining the scalps of these school children were seeing hair casts instead of nits (Kligman, A. M.: Hair Casts, A. M. A. Arch. Dermat. 75:509 [April] 1957, and Brunner, M., and Facq, J. M.: A Pseudoparasite of Scalp Hair, ibid., p. 583) and making erroneous diagnoses of head lice without corroboration by microscopic examination. Fortunately for everyone concerned, the newspapers played down the fiasco, and, as far as I know, irate parents let the matter drop.

Now I read that the Portland, Ore., schools are apparently experiencing the same difficulties that the Los Angeles schools did. I am sure they are having hair cast trouble, too.

I have a premonition that a pandemic of scalp misdiagnoses will occur this autumn when

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