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To the Editor:—
In The Journal April 1, page 1260, appears a short comment entitled "Syphilis in North Carolina." In this article you raise a doubt as to the accuracy of the statement to which you refer and intimate that this statement was made for the purpose of securing federal funds for the control of syphilis in this state.It is felt in this department that you have placed your own interpretation on these figures and evidently have arrived at an erroneous conclusion. You have mistaken the prevalence of syphilis for the incidence of syphilis. The 48,000 "new cases of syphilis" reported each year are not cases of "new" syphilis in the sense that the disease was acquired within the year in which it was reported. These "new" cases mean simply that they have never been reported before to this department. Many of them are cases of latent and late
Reynolds CV. "SYPHILIS IN NORTH CAROLINA". JAMA. 1939;112(19):1987. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800190101029
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