Death toll and confirmed cases of the rare fungal meningitis up
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now said there are 12 deaths in associated with the rare fungal meningitis and 137 confirmed cases.
According to CNN, the steroid shots were given to people between May 21 and September 24.
The affected states include; Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia, according to NBC News.
The medication that may contain the deadly strain may be a steroid medication used for back pain, according to the Associated Press. The Massachusetts pharmacy that makes the medicine has since recalled it.
The Food and Drug Administration have identified the maker of the steroid as the New England Compounding Center, in Framingham, Massachusetts.
According to NBC News, the drug is called methylprednicolone acetate. There still may be another culprit though. The CDC and FDA are testing other pain medications and materials used with the steroid injections to make sure.
The Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner said, “We have notified medical professionals the prime suspect for this outbreak is methylprednisolone.”
There is an incubation period that can range from two days to two months for meningitis.
“The type of meningitis we are dealing with in this situation is not communicable person to person,” Dreyzehner said.
In Tennessee there has been the highest number of illnesses and deaths. Thirty-five people are ill and four people have dies due to the infection.
“Everybody who been exposed to the lot numbers that are suspect, the vast majority have not been symptomatic,” Dreyzehner said.
All of the medications have been recalled.