The report of the ministry of health in England, cited by Hanzlik, 1 ascribes nearly one sixth of industrial invalidity to rheumatism. The U. S. Public Health Service in 1924 listed acute rheumatism third among the sixteen principal causes of disability in male wage earners. When to this is added the enormous numbers of persons partially or totally disabled by chronic arthritis, the toll of the arthropathies becomes appalling.
Since 1876, the value of the salicylates in affording symptomatic relief and possibly in attacking the agent that produces acute rheumatism has been recognized. They still are the principal weapon in controlling the acute attacks and in allaying the pain of the more chronic types. The benefit in various forms of arthritis following removal of foci of infection has been pointed out by Billings 2 and his associates, and has been corroborated by such an abundance of evidence that it is