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December 20, 1941


Author Affiliations

From the Division of Medicine (Drs. Slocumb and Binger), the Section on Cardiology (Dr. Barnes) and the Section on Otolaryngology and Rhinology (Dr. Williams), Mayo Clinic.

JAMA. 1941;117(25):2161-2164. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820510049011

For a long time it had been recognized that acute inflammatory disease in a certain region of the body could produce secondary inflammation in some other region. Nevertheless, it was not until after the work of Billings and his co-workers that the conception that chronic, often symptomless, infections of low grade, localized in various parts of the body, could produce disease elsewhere in the body, began to receive general recognition from members of the medical and dental profession in this country. Rosenow1 stated "The scope of this influence may be judged by the voluminous literature on focal infection that has appeared [since the publications of Billings] throughout the whole civilized world, and in which striking benefit to patients suffering from various diseases and also failure of others to improve have been reported." Although earlier diligence was directed largely to the reporting of the "striking benefits," there has lately appeared