The introduction of an efficacious serum therapy in meningococcus meningitis has made its early diagnosis of supreme importance, particularly in infancy, the age of highest mortality in untreated patients. Early recognition of this type of meningitis is more profitable than in any of the acute infectious diseases, with the probable exception of diphtheria. Experience at the Babies' Hospital demonstrates that this disease had not been recognized in the majority of 136 cases previous to admission to the hospital, although in 134 of these cases the clinical indications were sufficiently apparent to warrant immediate lumbar puncture and diagnosis. We report the clinical manifestations in 136 endemic cases in infants and young children for the purpose of directing attention to the multiform symptomatology of meningococcus meningitis and the necessity of more frequent early examinations of the spinal fluid in those suspected of having the disease.
The variability of the clinical pictures in