In 1899 the medical practitioners of Dublin were confronted with an outbreak of a peculiar and obscure illness, characterised by symptoms which were very unusual. For want of a better explanation, the disorder, which seemed to be epidemic, was explained by the simple expedient of finding a name for it. It was labelled as “beri‐beri,” a tropical disease with very much the same clinical and pathological features as those observed at Dublin. Papers were read before certain societies, and then as the cases gradually diminished in number, the subject lost interest and was dropped.
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