Although meningococcic conjunctivitis has long been recognized as a complication of cerebrospinal meningitis, its incidence has diminished notably in recent years with the introduction of antimeningococcic serum therapy. Thus, Randolph,1 in 1893, cited Hirsch, Ziemssen and Hess as finding it an invariable concomitant of the cerebral disease. But, with the advent of serum therapy, no conjunctivitis occurred in a series of 66 cases reported by Lewis2 in 1931 and was present in only 1 of a large number of cases reported by Tillet and Brown3 in 1935. Cushing,4 in 1940, was able to demonstrate only 4 instances of conjunctivitis among 124 cases of cerebrospinal meningitis.
Acute meningococcic conjunctivitis without any other clinical evidence of meningitis, or its development prior to the onset of meningitis, however, is not common at all, there being only infrequent reports of such an occurrence in the literature. Koplik,5 in 1904,