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Worldwide Control of Rheumatic Fever

Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(6):918-919. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-91-6-918
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The World Health Organization convened a meeting of expert staff members and consultants in Geneva during 1977 to consider the prospects for worldwide rheumatic fever control. Their report, published subsequently as a WHO memorandum (1), points out the fact that although acute rheumatic fever is relatively rare nowadays in developed countries of the western world, "in developing countries of the tropics and subtropics rheumatic heart disease is the commonest form of heart disease, often of very great severity as it used to be observed in Europe a century ago." Indeed, "rheumatic heart disease prevalence rates as high as 22 per


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