Letters

Vitamin A programme in Assam probably caused hysteria

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7340.791/a (Published 30 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:791
  1. Keith P West Jr, professor (kwest@jhsph.edu),
  2. Alfred Sommer, professor
  1. Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA

    EDITOR—Did the recent campaign to distribute vitamin A in Assam, India, cause an epidemic of illness or hysteria? The public health science underlying vitamin A prophylaxis and the reports that emerged after the same-day dosing of some 2.5 million preschool children point to hysteria.

    Firstly, did vitamin A kill a child the day after dosing, and up to 13 children the next week, as claimed (overdosage by a new, larger delivery cup is being cited as the cause)?1 Almost certainly …

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