Illnesses and death toll up due to the rare form of fungal meningitis
The rare fungal meningitis has now killed 12 people and has made 120 people ill.
According to CNN, this is up from the eight deaths reported earlier and the 105 people ill. The steroid shots were given to people between May 21 and September 24.
Michigan was the newest state on the list of states that have had patients contract the rare fungal meningitis from a steroid shot.
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.
There have also been reported cases in Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
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 died due to the infection.
“Everybody who been exposed to the lot numbers that are suspect, the vast majority have not been symptomatic,” Dreyzehner said.
There have been 17,676 vials recalled by the NECC.