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February 13, 1943


JAMA. 1943;121(7):516. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840070044013

The current increase in the number of cases of meningococcic meningitis in various parts of the country, which was to be expected in view of the military and industrial mobilization, has emphasized recent advances in the treatment of the disease. These improvements depend almost wholly on the use of the sulfonamide compounds. Until recently many clinicians experienced in this disease advised combined treatment with some form of antiserum and a sulfonamide compound at least for the more serious cases. However, the shift from intraspinal to intravenous serum therapy, advocated especially by Herrick and Hoyne, had generally prevailed. Accumulation of data seems now to show that drug treatment alone will bring better results than combination with such an agent as foreign serum, which, even when given intravenously, may initiate a considerable number of reactions.

In England, for example, a statistically adequate number of patients treated with serum alone gave a fatality