Why we Have Written This Book


When we were very young, one of us in Europe, the other in North America, rheumatic fever loomed large among the anxieties of lay people and the interests of physicians. At home we heard stories of relatives and friends killed by the disease, of marriages that did not take place because the bride-to-be was found to have had rheumatic fever, and of vocations changed because mitral stenosis interfered with them. Later, after one of us had emigrated to America, we both worked, separately, in specialized chronic hospitals/convalescent homes for children with rheumatic fever, in New York (Irvington House) and in Baltimore (Happy Hills) — hospitals that do not exist any more, not because there is no more money to support them, but because there are no patients to fill them. We closed the hospitals and did other things.


Public Health Infectious Disease Medical Student North America Health Worker 
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© A. Taranta and M. Markowitz 1981

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