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August 17, 1912


JAMA. 1912;LIX(7):527-532. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270080209011

Epidemic meningitis is an acute, infectious, contagious disease that is transmitted principally through the medium of healthy carriers. During an epidemic, many healthy people, especially members of families in which the disease occurs, harbor the meningococcus. The number of healthy carriers is much greater than the number of those ill with the disease; some observers estimate that the carriers are ten to twenty times the number of the sick. Only a small percentage of the carriers develop the disease; the danger, however, that anyone who is a carrier may develop the disease, is a very serious menace, and causes considerable alarm, especially in an epidemic invasion of the disease in all sections of a city, as no one knows whether he or his friends are carriers or not. The occurrence of more than one case of epidemic meningitis in families is not so rare as believed by many who are

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