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The butterfly caste: a social history of pellagra in the South / Elizabeth W. Etheridge.


Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Pub. Co., [1972] .
ISBN 0837162569, 0837162769, 9780837162768

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Subjects Malnutrition.
Pellagra -- History.
Pellagra -- history -- United States.
Social Conditions -- history -- United States.
Southern States -- Social conditions.
Series Contributions in American history ; no. 17.
Description ix, 278 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary This book is a medical detective story of the search for a killer. Pellagra, the disease of the four Ds: diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death, was epidemic in the Southern United States in the early part of this century. The often fatal disease was characterized by the dramatic stigmata of an ugly red "butterfly" across the nose and a symmetrical skin rash on the extremities. Although it has been described and studied by European physicians as early as 1735, and pellagroid symptoms had long been identified in this country, pellagra was not acknowledged as a discrete disease until 1907. In that year an epidemic broke out in an asylum in Alabama. Reports of other cases quickly followed, and within a few years pellagra was pandemic in the South. The search for the killer was on, but it would be many years before the cause could be isolated and a cure found. In 1914, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, a United States Public Health Service physician, became director of the PHS pellagra research program. This book traces his efforts to identify the culprit responsible for this disease and ultimately to find the cure in 1937 that would help to eliminate it.
Contents A new scourge for the South -- Teamwork -- Meat, meal, and molasses: an indictment -- Praise and protest -- A tale of seven villages -- Famine, plague, and furor -- The quiet search -- A practical approach -- Victory -- Epilogue.
Geographic Area Southern States
Network Numbers (OCoLC)ocm00278145
(OCoLC)278145
WorldCat Search OCLC WorldCat

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