When someone falls ill with bacterial meningitis, there is understandable concern among those who live or work with the patient about the contagiousness of the disease. When two or more cases occur in a group of people, concern often increases toward panic. The situation is frequently compounded by conflicting and confusing advice from physicians and public-health officials. Such was the situation in Houston in February 1981 when an unprecedented six cases of meningococcal disease occurred in a single classroom during a six-day period. I remember vividly the nationwide publicity given to the event on television and radio and in the.
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