A few descriptions of epidemic rheumatic fever are to be found in the medical literature of the last fifty years. One of the first of these was a description of an epidemic in a ward by Feltkamp1 in 1887. An article published in 1927 by Boas and Schwartz2 summarized the literature in this respect.
The French school has for many years held acute rheumatism to be an infectious disease. Grenet3 described five epidemics of rheumatic fever during the war. He showed how the disease remained in a certain unit although it was removed from its position in the line, cases occurring in the new quarters, while the relieving troops remained free from the disease. He considered this to be evidence in support of the view that infection is a more important factor than environment in the causation of acute rheumatism. He concludes in the following words:
COLLIS WRF. THE CONTAGIOUS FACTOR IN THE ETIOLOGY OF RHEUMATIC FEVER. Am J Dis Child. 1932;44(3):485-493. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1932.01950100002001