Trends in meningococcal meningitis over the past thirteen years at Kenyatta National Hospital 1967-1979.
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A retrospective study was made of 419 cases of meningococcal meningitis admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, during the 13 years from 1967 to 1979. These were only 1.6% of the 26 505 cases admitted as meningitis in that time. From 1967 to 1974 an average of 3.4 cases a year occurred, but numbers rose progressively afterwards, to an average of 78 cases a year. The male to female ratio was 3 to 1, and incidence was greatest in the age group 15-24 years. The occurrence of cases was greatest in the winter months, June to October. Case mortality was less than 5%, on treatment mainly with crystalline penicillin. The organisms isolated were all serogroup A. They were sensitive to penicillin G and to most antibiotics, but only 52% were sensitive to sulphafurazole. [Apart from the bare mention of an outbreak in Machakos district in 1974, no information is given about the sources of the cases under review.]