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An Annual Epidemic of Acute Enteritis Associated with a High Incidence of Prolonged Malabsorption.

Capt. Thomas C. Jones; and Lt. Col. Gerald W. Parker
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USAF, MCUSAF, MC, F.A.C.P., Republic of the Philippines

Ann Intern Med. 1969;70(5):1068. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-70-5-1068_1
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An epidemic of acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis occurs annually at Clark Air Base causing significant morbidity among Americans living in the Philippines. It commences with the rainy season and affects 10 to 30% of the population. The cause remains unknown. During the epidemic in 1968, 190 patients with diarrhea were interviewed and evaluated for intestinal dysfunction. One hundred nine D-xylose tests, 25 lactose tolerance tests, 21 small-bowel series, and 18 peroral small-bowel biopsies were performed. Patients were observed for clinical signs of chronic enteritis or malabsorption. Two thirds of the patients tested with symptoms less than 14 days showed D-xylose malabsorption


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