War Surgery and Medicine
This form of meningitis frequently occurs as a primary condition, but is sometimes secondary to a form of pneumococcal infection elsewhere—the middle ear, the accessory sinuses of the nose, the lungs—or as part of a pneumococcal septicaemia. In the primary form, a nasal catarrh frequently precedes the onset of meningitis, which is, as a rule, somewhat sudden.
In July 1943 the Consultant Physician 2 NZEF reported the recovery of a case of pneumococcal meningitis. Recovery in such cases was exceedingly rare and this was thought to be the first such case which had recovered in a New Zealand General Hospital. This soldier had been treated with intravenous sulphadiazine, and, in addition, sulphapyridine by mouth.
At this date there had been five deaths in 2 NZEF from pneumococcal meningitis, and there were two deaths after this date.
Results in other forces indicated that pneumococcal meningitis often failed to respond to sulphonamides, but treatment with penicillin produced better results.