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March 1939


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;63(3):575-583. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00180200144011

Meningococcic septicemia can no longer be regarded as a rare disease. Its recognition has been increasingly frequent since Gwyn, in 1898, demonstrated meningococci in the blood stream and since the report of Salomon,1 in 1902, of meningococcic septicemia which persisted for eight weeks. The disease may be divided into the acute fulminating and the chronic septicemic type, the latter with various metastatic lesions and with or without meningitis.

Acute fulminating meningococcic septicemia is invariably fatal. Cases have been reported2 in which the patient died a few hours after the onset, with an extensive purpuric rash, hematemesis and tarry stools. As in other fulminating infections, some patients3 have shown massive hemorrhage into the adrenals. These acute attacks are characterized by their abrupt onset, with chills and high fever, rapid progression, purpura and massive hemorrhage into many organs. There is no effective treatment.

Chronic meningococcic septicemia is observed more