Up to 26 people have rare meningitis infection
A rare form of deadly meningitis has made 26 people sick and has killed four.
The medication that may contain the deadly strain may be a steroid medication used for back pain, according to USA Today. The Massachusetts pharmacy that makes the medicine has since recalled it.
There have 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 are 18 cases associated with Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in Nashville, a center in Crossville, and now a third center in Oak Ridge. More than 700 people were treated. If patients were treated from July 1 to present day they are urged to look for symptoms and to see a doctor immediately.
“Everybody who been exposed to the lot numbers that are suspect, the vast majority have not been symptomatic,” Dreyzehner said.