Rare meningitis outbreak in 5 states; 4 dead

Oct 3 2012 - 4:36pm

Images

In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 photo, Dr. David Reagan, chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health, right, and Dr. Marion Kayiner, also with the state health department tell local and national media about an outbreak of fungal meningitis infections that have already killed two and sickened 13 others in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Shelley Mays)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 photo, Dr. David Reagan, chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health,center, and Dr. Marion Kayiner talks with local and national media about an outbreak of fungal meningitis infections that have already killed two and sickened 13 others in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Shelley Mays)
A sign marks an entrance to Saint Thomas Hospital medical campus in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. An outbreak of a rare and deadly form of meningitis that has sickened more than two dozen people was first detected among patients treated at the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in the complex. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 photo, Dr. David Reagan, chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health, right, and Dr. Marion Kayiner, also with the state health department tell local and national media about an outbreak of fungal meningitis infections that have already killed two and sickened 13 others in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Shelley Mays)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 photo, Dr. David Reagan, chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health,center, and Dr. Marion Kayiner talks with local and national media about an outbreak of fungal meningitis infections that have already killed two and sickened 13 others in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Shelley Mays)
A sign marks an entrance to Saint Thomas Hospital medical campus in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. An outbreak of a rare and deadly form of meningitis that has sickened more than two dozen people was first detected among patients treated at the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in the complex. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Health officials say a rare meningitis outbreak has sickened 26 people in five states who received steroid injections for back pain. Four people have died.

Eighteen of the cases -- and two deaths -- are in Tennessee where a Nashville clinic received the largest shipment of the steroid suspected in the outbreak. A health official says the steroid came from a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the other cases are in Virginia, Maryland, Florida and North Carolina. Virginia and Maryland had one death each.

Health officials said Wednesday that more new cases are almost certain to appear in the coming days. Investigators have not ruled out contamination in other products.

 

 

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