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Scand J Infect Dis. 1987;19(1):35-42.

Case fatality of meningococcal disease in western Norway.


In the period 1976-84, 211 patients hospitalized with meningococcal disease were examined for possible relation between various epidemiological parameters and fatality. The peak incidences were in the age groups 0-4 and 13-18 years, with teenage girls peaking 2 years ahead of the boys. The overall case fatality rate was 8.5%. In septicemic patients (without meningitis) hypotension and/or ecchymoses on admission correlated strongly with a poor prognosis. Most deaths occurred during the months of March and November, and none during the summer months. There was a significant clustering of deaths among patients admitted during the morning hours, probably due to delayed diagnosis and treatment during the night. Since almost all patients who died had skin bleedings on admission, frequent examination of the skin in cases with acute unexplained fever might have saved lives.

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