Meningitis outbreak grows, death toll rises; 119 cases, 11 dead - KMSP-TV

Meningitis outbreak grows to 119 cases, death toll rises to 11

 The number of people sickened by a deadly meningitis outbreak has now reached 119 cases, including 11 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the count on Tuesday.

No new cases have been reported in Minnesota. Officials with the Minnesota Department of Health are still working to contact the estimated 831 patients who received the tainted steroids linked to the outbreak.

Three women in their 40s have all been confirmed to have the rare form of fungal meningitis, but their cases are mild, according to officials.

New Jersey became the 10th state to report at least one illness with Tuesday's update.

The other states involved in the outbreak are:

  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

Officials have tied the outbreak of rare fungal meningitis to steroid shots used to treat back pain. This form of meningitis is not contagious.

Symptoms generally start emerging one to four weeks after the injection was administered, but not all patients who received the medicine will become sick.

Symptoms that should prompt patients to seek medical care include:

  • Fever
  • New or worsening headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • New weakness or numbness
  • Increasing pain
  • Redness or swelling at the injection site.

The steroid was made by New England Compounding Center, a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts that has since issued a voluntary recall of all of its products. At least one contaminated vial was found at the company.

The company affected steroid products were sent to clinics in 23 states.

 

Online resource:

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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