Hadassah to Attempt Control of Rheumatic Fever in Israel

The first large-scale attempt to control rheumatic fever in Israel will be inaugurated by the Hadassah Medical Organization with the return next week to Jerusalem of an American-trained Israeli physician who spent 12 months in the United States preparing for this mission, it was announced today.

The Israeli physician, now enroute to Jerusalem following advanced studies at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Cornell Medical College in New York City, is Dr. Ernst Nahum Ehrenfeld. He was brought to this country by Hadassah under a Magnes-Warburg Fellowship, named in honor of Dr. Judah Magnes, first president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The rheumatic fever project will be conducted among 250 children of school and pre-school age in Jerusalem who were found by Hadassah doctors to have suffered from rheumatic fever, which if left unchecked, frequently leads to heart disease.

Under Dr. Ehrenfeld’s plan, Bicillin tablets, a new antibiotic drug of the penicillin family, will be given daily for long periods to the young patients. A shipment of 15,000 tablets of Bicillin made available without cost to Hadassah by Wyeth International Limited, Inc., a Philadelphia pharmaceutical concern, has been dispatched to Jerusalem for the project, Hadassah doctors in Israel are hopeful that regular usage of Bicillin may prevent recurrent rheumatic fever attacks and subsequent heart damage.

The condition of the children involved in the Jerusalem project will be checked regularly and compared with that of rheumatic fever patients in Israel treated by other means. At least one year’s time would be required before conclusive results could be expected. If the Jerusalem controlled experiment proves successful, this method of treatment will be utilized in all Hadassah medical institutions in Israel.

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