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April 1981

Meningococcal Pneumonia: A Source of Nosocomial Infection

Author Affiliations

From the Medical (Dr Rose), Nursing (Ms Lenz), and Laboratory (Dr Sheth) Services, Wood Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the Departments of Medicine (Dr Rose) and Pathology (Dr Sheth), Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(5):575-577. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340050027009

• Pneumonia apparently resulting from aspiration became clinically apparent in an elderly man two days after admission to a private room on a general medical ward. Pneumonia developed in a patient in an adjacent room three days later. Both patients had group B Neisseria meningitidis isolated from a percutaneous transtracheal aspirate. A prevalence survey failed to identify meningococcal carriers among other ward patients. The index patient required frequent nasotracheal suctioning during the first two hospital days prior to penicillin G potassium therapy. The second patient was simultaneously receiving continuous oxygen therapy administered by nasal cannula. Events suggested that the organism may have been transmitted by direct contact, probably on the hands of hospital personnel.

(Arch Intern Med 1981;141:575-577)

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