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Fluid curtailment in children under 5 and other stories . . .

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3724 (Published 16 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3724

More than half a million children die from diarrhoea every year, almost always due to dehydration. Sadly, a lot of this is still caused by deliberate curtailment of fluid intake by parents who believe that fluids and food feed the illness. National cross sectional data show that the prevalence of fluid curtailment in children under 5 is 55% in Nigeria, 49% in Ethiopia, 44% in Uganda, 37% in Tanzania, 36% in DR Congo, and 32% in Burkina Faso (BMC Public Health 2015;15:588, doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1878-z). Parents who withhold fluids are more than three times as likely to withhold food as well.

Nearly 200 years after James Parkinson’s celebrated Essay on the Shaking Palsy of 1817, the disease that bears his name is still diagnosed on clinical criteria alone. But a detailed study of patient characteristics from Canada suggests that Parkinson’s disease has three distinct subtypes (JAMA Neurology 2015, doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.0703). At one …

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