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Three cases of meningococcal disease occurred in three neighbouring villages in the Austrian state of Styria between 29 January and 8 February 2001 (1). The surrounding region has a population of 10 145 people, distributed over nine villages. The first case, a 1 year old boy with meningococcal septicaemia, became ill with a feverish infection on 28 January 2001. The following day he had a skin rash and was taken to the family doctor and admitted to hospital where meningococci were isolated from the blood culture.


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