CDC Reports, Death Toll 90 In Steroid Linked Deadly Minigitis Outbreak

Posted By Urban News Hour | October 7, 2012

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported a deadly outbreak in the recent national rise. As of Saturday, the death toll had risen to 65 people across nine states, and 5  people have died from the deadly disease.

Three of the five  meningitis deaths were reported in Tennessee, and two meningitis deaths were reported in Michigan. Hospitals are reporting  that more patients are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

The rate of infection has been determined. However, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia have all reported cases of  meningitis.

Michigan said, six cases of the meningitis outbreak of have been confirmed after people fell ill and  received injections for back pain.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reported, more then 17,000 sealed vials of injectable steroids were shipped to 76 facilities in 23 states by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts.

The steroid was sent to California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and West Virginia, the CDC said.

The spinal steroid injections are a common treatment of back pain, and it is believed that the vials contain the rare and deadly infection of aspergillus meningitis.

Friday,  The CDC Mycotic Diseases Branch released a statement saying, Although health officials say, the fungus is not transmitted from person to person. The facilities could have injected thousands of patients, and those patients that may have received these medications need to be tract down. If patients with the infection are identified soon and put on anti-fungal therapy, many lives could be saved.

If Also, Patients infected with meningitis have shown a variety of symptoms from one to four weeks after they’ve had steroid injected, including fever, headaches, nausea, and neurological problems that would be consistent with deep brain stroke, the CDC said.

Therefore, The CDC has requested for  clinics and doctors to immediately identify those who could have been exposed between July 1 and Sept. 28.

Federal health officials reported, that a number of meningitis cases could climb because hundreds of patients in several states have received the drug in the past three months.

Meningitis affects the membranous lining of the brain and spinal cord. Early symptoms of fungal meningitis, such as headache, fever, dizziness, nausea and slurred speech, are subtler than those of bacterial meningitis and can take nearly a month to appear.

While fungal meningitis is rare and life-threatening, it is not spread by person-to-person contact. If left untreated, the disease can cause permanent neurological damage and death.

The FDA is urging anyone who has experienced problems following an injection with the NECC product to report it to MedWatch, the FDA’s voluntary reporting program, by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.

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