Epidemic meningitis, or, as the disease is often termed, cerebrospinal meningitis, is caused by a peculiar microorganism, Diplococcus intracellularis or meningococcus, that gains entrance to the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, where it sets up an inflammation that terminates in death, or, when life is spared, in many instances, in paralysis, imbecility or some other serious condition. Epidemic meningitis, in the past, had been abhorred alike by the laity and the medical profession. To the one it brought consternation by reason of its apparently mysterious onset as well as its terrible effects; and to the other, distress because of helplessness in dealing with so malignant a disease. Now, happily, the situation is wholly changed. Mystery no longer attends the appearance of the disease, and the discovery of a specific method of treatment has brought the malady within the power of medical control. This revolution has been accomplished through
DUNN CH. ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION IN RELATION TO EPIDEMIC CEREBROSPINAL MENINGITIS. JAMA. 1911;LVII(4):259–265. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260070263001
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