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March 27, 1943

AN EPIDEMIC OF RHEUMATIC FEVER IN A CHILDREN'S INSTITUTION: FOLLOWING AN OUTBREAK OF ACUTE TONSILLITIS

Author Affiliations

NORMAL, ILL.; BLOOMINGTON, ILL.; CHICAGO

From the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School Hospital, Normal, Ill.

JAMA. 1943;121(13):991-995. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840130005002
Abstract

During the later part of 1940 and early part of 1941 an unusually large number of cases of acute tonsillitis occurred in McLean County in the vicinity of Normal, where the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School is located. It was noted that an abnormally high incidence of acute rheumatic fever developed coincidentally or after a latent period of several weeks. The incidence of the two diseases assumed epidemic proportions in the school, where 88 children (15 per cent of the total population of 561) contracted acute rheumatic fever. This epidemic presented an opportunity to study the relation of tonsillitis to rheumatic fever, the influence of familial predisposition, age, sex and meteorologic conditions and the significance of the patient's previous history.

At the time of the epidemic there were 561 children, 210 girls and 351 boys, living at the school. They were housed according to age and sex in twenty-six

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