4th meningitis case confirmed in Minnesota - KMSP-TV

4th meningitis case confirmed in Minnesota

State health officials confirm that the number of meningitis cases in Minnesota has risen to four.

No details about the latest case were provided. The three previous cases were all found in women in their 40s, two of whom have since been discharged from the hospital.

The nationwide outbreak has been linked to steroids distributed by a Massachusetts pharmacy that is currently under investigation and has since recalled all of its products. It's estimated that thousands of people could be sickened, but so far there are 205 confirmed cases in more than a dozen states. Fifteen people have died.

At the main campus of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dozens of people are working day and night to bring the meningitis outbreak under control.

Dr. John Jernigan is a medical epidemiologist at the CDC leading the clinical investigation team for the outbreak response. He explained that this infection, which is caused by a fungus, is very unusual because meningitis is typically caused by a virus or bacteria.

The fungus linked to this outbreak is common in dirt and grasses, but it somehow found its way into a steroid injected into people with back pain.

On Thursday, FOX 9 News spoke with the family of a woman who was still waiting for test results after she received multiple injections for her pain treatment at one of the two clinics that received the affected steroids in Minnesota. Her attorney said he filed what he believes is the first federal lawsuit over the outbreak. They hope to open it up to other victims as a class-action lawsuit alleging that the New England Compounding Center was negligent.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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