Scurvy, a disease historically associated with old-world sailors on long voyages, is making a surprise comeback in Australia, with health officials Tuesday revealing a rare spate of cases.
Caused by vitamin C deficiency, the condition used to be a common – and often fatal – curse among seafarers who went months without fresh fruit and vegetables.
Once barely heard of in developed countries, reports suggest the problem is also on the rise in Britain, while a medical journal this year detailed the case of a baby developing scurvy in Spain.
Jenny Gunton, who heads the Centre for Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology research at the Westmead Institute in Sydney, said scurvy had reappeared in Australia because of poor dietary habits.
She discovered the disease after wounds on several of her patients failed to heal.
“When I asked about their diet, one person was eating little or no fresh fruit and vegetables, but the rest ate fair amounts of …
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