Schoolmates of patients with meningococcal disease have not been considered to be at increased risk for the development of disease due to Neisseria meningitidis. Within a six-day period N. meningitidis serogroup C disease occurred in five children from the same elementary-school classroom and in two siblings of one child. This unprecedented outbreak prompted an investigation into the factors that may have contributed to the spread of the disease among schoolmates. The evidence suggested that close contact in the classroom may have been a major factor.
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