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November 13, 1967


JAMA. 1967;202(7):647. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130200133025

While fatality rate from meningitis has diminished strikingly under the impact of antimicrobial therapy over the past three decades, certain forms of the disease, such as tuberculous and pneumococcal meningitis, have shown some resistance to modern treatment. Though the incidence of tuberculous meningitis has been fading, pneumococcal meningitis has continued to be a persistent problem, with an incidence of 4.2 to 5 cases per 10,000 admissions to a large municipal hospital (over a 23year period) as reported by Weiss et al in a recent issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.1

In the few available reports of recent years the fatality rate has varied from 10% to 65% in different institutions. This variation could be due to differences in management or to differences in case material. Since the early 1950's, antibiotic therapy has been pretty well standardized at large doses of intramuscular or intravenous penicillin G. There are questions