Third death in Hungarian meningitis outbreak

BUDAPEST, Dec 30, 1999 -- (Reuters) A meningitis outbreak in Hungary has claimed a third victim, a four-year-old in the east of the country, while some some 10 people remain hospitalized with the disease, officials said Friday.

The other two fatalities were a 50-year-old Budapest woman who died earlier this week and a teenager in the central town Kecskemet last week, the National Epidemology Centre said.

The outbreak started in army barracks in Szabadszallas and Kecskemet, in central Hungary, authorities said.

One conscript from Szabadszallas was still in critical condition at a Budapest hospital, while another nine people were in hospital in the capital and in the southern towns of Pecs and Mohacs, doctors said.

Melles warned patients to seek early treatment as this type of meningitis starts with symptoms of a common cold but can be deadly within 24 hours if not treated.

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