DURING World War II rheumatic fever was one of the major causes of lost man days due to sickness in the Navy and Marine Corps. Coincident with large epidemics of hemolytic streptococcus infections which occurred in all the large naval training centers during the years 1942 to 1945 inclusive, the incidence of rheumatic fever rose to epidemic proportions by 1943 and the incidence of valvular heart disease increased accordingly. The number of cases of rheumatic fever in the Navy rose from 148 in 1940 to 7,668 in 1944. The rate per thousand persons increased during the same period from 0.73 to 2.29. The magnitude of the problem of rheumatic fever necessitated the establishment of two naval hospitals for the care of patients with this disease. Likewise, the Army experienced epidemics of hemolytic streptococcus infections as well as a sharp increase in the rate of rheumatic fever. However, the rate of
QUINN RW. EPIDEMIOLOGIC STUDY OF SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SEVEN CASES OF RHEUMATIC FEVER. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1947;80(6):709–727. doi:10.1001/archinte.1947.00220180014002
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