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March 17, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(11):690-691. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460110050006

Epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis may be defined as an acute, infectious disease depending on the activity of the micrococcus intracellularis meningitidis, with localization in the cerebral and spinal membranes. From other varieties of meningitis it differs, among other things, in its specific character, but, strange to state, the disease appears to be contagious in only slight degree, for observation has shown that its distribution in a community is, as a rule, rather widespread, and that it does not generally attack many members of the same household, if more than one. Further, isolated cases appear from time to time in some communities. It is thought that the nares may be the portal of entry for the causative factor of the disease, which passes thence along the sheaths of the olfactory nerves. The epidemic disease differs from other varieties of meningitis additionally in the fact that a local lesion or preceding or associated