Infections of the central nervous system in childhood present a fascinating part of pediatric practice. Among these, cerebrospinal fever is of especial interest in that it constitutes an acute medical condition not unlike the acute surgical emergencies.
During epidemics of the disease, when apprehension stimulates diagnostic acuity, early forms of infection are recognized which are commonly believed to characterize the epidemic form. Although Herrick,1 Netter and Salanier2 and others stated that sporadic cases frequently reveal typical early symptoms, the diagnosis in these cases is commonly not made until evidences of meningitis appear. Many observers accordingly describe an experience with sporadic cases which is limited mostly to the meningitic stage and restrict discussion to this stage of final localization.
A series of fifty-eight consecutive cases of cerebrospinal fever in children admitted to the Children's Hospital, San Francisco, during the past ten years, presents unusual prominence of signs of systemic