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July 1975

Pyomyositis: A "Tropical" Disease?

Author Affiliations

Office of International Health Programs Harvard University 677 Huntington Ave Boston, MA 02115

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(7):775-776. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120440003001

The interesting article by Echeverria and Vaughn in this issue of the Journal (page 856) raises once again the question of the appropriate nomenclature of "tropical diseases."

In general, clinical entities that are described as occurring largely in the less-developed regions of the world (often, but by no means always, found in those areas with a tropical climate) can be grouped under one of four headings that account for their epidemiologic characteristics:

1. Diseases that have an overriding association with low standards of living, with consequent higher prevalence in populations suffering from poor nutrition, poor hygiene, and lowered resistance to disease because of multiple parasitic and infectious processes. Examples of this group, often very common in the West before the rise in living standards of the past century, include the diarrhea-pneumonia complex of early childhood (accounting for perhaps half of all childhood deaths occurring annually on the globe), infestation with

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