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June 27, 1891

REPORT ON AN EPIDEMIC OF CEREBRO-SPINAL MENINGITIS.Read in the Section of the Practice of Medicine and Physiology, at the Forty-second Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, held at Washington, D. C., May, 1891.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1891;XVI(26):901-903. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410780001001

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In presenting the subject of Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis, the first thought I offer is that our nomenclature in this as in many other diseases leads to an erroneous view of the pathology and treatment.

Our authors have almost universally written as though the inflammatory action found in the coverings of the brain and spinal column was the original lesion to be combated. It will not be necessary, for the purposes designed in this paper, to deny the fact that an inflammatory action may be found in many cases.

The error, as I conceive it to be, and to which I would direct attention, is that the inflammation, if it does exist, in a given case, is not the disease to be treated, but a sequence.

It is only necessary to call attention to the great number of deaths occurring within five days, with no exudation in these tissues evincing inflammation. It

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