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meningitis scarier than ebola for now

C. Greiner cgreiner at blue.weeg.uiowa.edu
Sun Mar 5 03:46:09 EST 1995

On 1 Mar 1995, Daniel B. Watkins wrote:

> While Ebola Zaire, Sudan, Reston and Marburg are certainly worth
watching, > there is a meningitis outbreak going on in the U.S. right now.
This morning's > paper mentions seven people who have died in Texas over
the last few months.  > The CDC reported in last week's MMWR about a new,
deadly strain in Oregon.  > There have been at least two recent deaths in
Seattle, Washington, > I have read about an outbreak in the Great Lakes
states earlier this year, > and I know that there has been at least one
recent death in Georgia. While > supposedly hard to contract, this
pathogen may have changed. > > Seems like to me that there is something
potentially dangerous going on > here. > > Comments? > > -- >
watkinsl at freenet.fsu.edu > > Tis the Season. Acute bacterial meningitis is
relatively common and thus there isn't a "unknown" threat lurking to kill
us all. Ebola got it's rise to fame on the back of HIV which brought viral
disease into the limelight and through the intrigue of being a relatively
unknown entity that produced an outbreak with a high mortality rate and
"gruesome"  pathological expression. The fact of the matter is that acute
bacterial meningitis according to Mandell, Douglas and Bennett. Principles
and Practice of Infectious Disease carries a death rate of approx. 30%
which hasen't changed greatly in the last 25 years. Thus despite
diagnostic technological advances and newer more powerful antimicrobial
agents changes to the death rate remain equivocal. Want more good news
look to Influenza, a viral syndrome that many of the people hiding under
their bed from Ebola would shrug off as "Oh, the Flu." has pneumonia death
rates in the United States of approx. 30-60/100,000 people thus for a
population of 250 Million, that is around 113,000 people in the U.S./year
(Estimated from a chart in Mandell, et al. CA-journal of the American
Cancer Society Jan./Feb.1994 lists Influenza, Pneumonia as the sixth
leading cause of death for men with 36,898 and the fourth leading cause of
death for females with 42,615 for a grand total of 79,513 ANNUALLY) what
was the toll from Ebola? 50? 100? 500? Just putting it in perspective.  

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