47 Meningitis Cases Now Reported


An outbreak of rare fungal meningitis has grown to include 47 cases in seven states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today.

For the first time today, cases were reported in Michigan and Indiana. The other states reporting cases are Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia.

Tennessee has the most infected people, with 29 cases, followed by Virginia with six cases, Michigan with four cases, and Indiana with three cases.

The outbreak is linked to steroid injections produced by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass. Patients affected by the outbreak received injections of the steroids in the spine as a treatment for lower back pain.

An investigation of the NECC facility found sealed vials of the drug that were contaminated with fungi, according to the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The NECC has voluntarily ceased distribution of its products, and shut down all operations. Recalled products from the company were shipped to 23 states.

Out of an abundance of caution, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging all healthcare practitioners not to use any products they may have that originated from NECC.

The type of meningitis seen in the outbreak is not transmissible from person to person, the CDC says. Symptoms of the fungal meningitis take one to four weeks to appear, and include fever, new or worsening headache, and nausea. Some patients with the condition have had strokes.

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