by Kathy Jones on  October 15, 2012 at 6:57 PM General Health News
 Meningitis Outbreak in US Leads to 15 Deaths
The recent outbreak of fungal meningitis in the United States continues to worsen after health officials revealed that more than 205 people are infected and there have been 15 deaths so far.

Fourteen states have been affected by the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. On Saturday, it had reported 198 cases nationwide.

The situation is particularly bad in Tennessee, where 53 cases including six deaths have been reported. Michigan follows, with 41 cases and Virginia with 34 cases.

Other states reporting cases include Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

The situation took a turn for the worse in a little more than a week. On October 6, the CDC had reported 64 cases including seven deaths.

Almost 14,000 people in 23 states may have received contaminated doses of the steroid -- typically injected into the spine to treat back pain -- from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts, which has since shut down its operations and recalled all of its products.

Generally, meningitis symptoms should appear between one and four weeks after the injection, but in some cases they could only show up several months later, according to health officials.

The rare strain of the disease, which inflames the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, requires a lengthy hospital stay and intravenous anti-fungal medications. It is not contagious in this form.

Source: AFP

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