Undiagnosed bacterial meningitis in Vermont children.


Community-acquired bacterial meningitis in Vermont children under 5 years of age was recognized less frequently in 1967-1970 in those towns with low total hospitalization rates than in towns with hospitalization rates above 15 admissions per 100 population. Using the towns with high hospitalization rates as a norm, it was found that towns with fewer recognized meningitis cases than expected had significantly greater rates of death from obscure causes in children 1-59 months of age in 1967-1970. It is suggested that about 17 deaths in 1967-1970 in Vermont children 1-59 months of age were associated with the failure to recognize bacterial meningitis in children from towns with low rates of medical care utilization.


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