An outbreak of pellagra in the kasese catchment area, dowa, Malawi

George Matapandeu, Samuel H. Dunn, Patti Pagels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pellagra is a deficiency of niacin or its amino acid precursor, tryptophan, which presents with the classic four Ds: the characteristic dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and eventually death if left untreated. The incidence of pellagra is quite rare presently because of increased awareness and strategies such as vitamin fortification. However, the deficiency is still present in cultures that rely on maize as their primary source of sustenance. We report a recent outbreak in a catchment area in Kasese, Malawi, of 691 cases of pellagra which were successfully treated with niacin supplementation. We present this short report to highlight the importance of educating providers of at-risk populations about this diagnosis and to consider solutions for these populations to prevent further deficiencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1244-1247
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume96
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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