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article imageMeningitis outbreak spreading rapidly in multi-states

By Nancy Houser     Oct 6, 2012 in Health
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a rare but “non-contagious, fungal form” of meningitis, linked to a steroid shot for back pain, has now spread to multistates.
According to the CDC, which was updated on October 5 at 2 pm, the epidural steroid injections thought to be contaminated with the deadly fungal meningitis have been sent to numerous states: 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.
As far as CDC knows, hundreds or even thousands of people may be contaminated or at risk, with many patients having strokes thought to be related to the meningitis. The shots were shipped out between July and September. There is still an ongoing investigation going on to trace the source, but most of the people who have been diagnosed with this rare meningitis have received the shot for back pain.
UPI Health News has reported that twenty-five of the cases were located in Tennessee, stated Dr. Benjamin Park, a medical officer at the Mycotic Diseases Branch of the CDC in Atlanta. "Fungal meningitis is not a reportable condition so we don't know how to compare this, but it is extremely rare and many of these cases involve people who are immune-compromised."
CDC receives vital information on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) through combined efforts. One is the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), the largest health care-associated infection reporting system in the United States. Over 9,000 healthcare facilities participate in NHSN, providing reports to show where the nation stands in efforts to prevent HAIs; where states stand in HAI prevention efforts; and to provide local information on individual facility progress in HAI prevention.
A person with meningitis of sub-acute onset (1-4 weeks) following epidural injection after July 1, 2012. Meningitis is defined as having 1 or more of the following symptoms: HA, fever, stiff neck, or photophobia and a CSF profile consistent with meningitis (elevated protein, low glucose, and pleocytosis).
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