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October 10, 1977

Control of Rheumatic Fever

Author Affiliations

Mobile, Ala

JAMA. 1977;238(15):1631. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280160025015

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To the Editor.—  I read with interest the editorial "Control of Rheumatic Fever: How Are We Doing?" (237:1720, 1977). The following statement was of interest to me: "During World War II an average of 2.06 cases of acute rheumatic fever occurred per 1,000 activeduty Navy personnel; during the years 1968 through 1970, this rate declined 96% to 0.08 cases per 1,000 annually."During World War II, I was a Naval Medical Officer stationed at the US Navy Training Center, Farragut, Idaho. During that time streptococcal infections were rampant at the training center. I doubt that a day went by that at least one Navy personnel was not sent to the hospital with acute rheumatic fever. The total number of Navy personnel with rheumatic fever at this particular base was really unbelievable. I suggest that Mortimer might wish to reevaluate his statistics after excluding all cases of acute rheumatic fever from