In August 1940 the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, experienced the beginning of an epidemic of meningococcic meningitis which gradually increased in intensity during the next six months, reaching an apparent peak of case incidence during January and February 1941. The total number of hospitalized patients during this period was 93, of whom 82 were treated with sulfapyridine. The cases of 20 of these patients have been reported by Black and MacKenzie1 and by Reid and Turner.2 Seven deaths occurred in the entire sulfapyridine-treated group: 1 of the deaths was of a patient with diabetic acidosis, 3 occurred shortly after admission, and 1 was attributed to obstructive hydrocephalus which appeared as a late complication. In the other 2 cases the disease progressed without complications but terminated fatally in spite of sulfapyridine and specific serotherapy.
The opportunity to study this disease at the peak of the epidemic arose during