The calling to the colors of 12,000 men between the ages of 21 and 31, nearly all natives of Porto Rico, gave an opportunity to study the genital defects and venereal diseases, including syphilis, prevalent in one of the West Indian islands where syphilis is supposed to have had an early start.
Especial interest should be manifested in the report of syphilis among the troops, as evidenced clinically, and by the Wassermann reaction taken as a routine on bakers and cooks. The Wassermann reports were in accord with the clinical findings in every case of secondary syphilis, and in cases of primary syphilis in which the draining lymph nodes were enlarged. In the latent tertiary cases, negative Wassermann reports were returned in only six cases that treatment with mercuric salicylate in grain doses weekly for six weeks provoked a positive reaction. It might be well to note that in every