You’ve probably heard of the meningitis outbreak going around the United States. However, health officials announced earlier this week that an eleventh person has died and 108 more individuals have become sick from a rare form of fungal meningitis known as aspergillus meningitis.
The non-contagious disease (unlike bacterial meningitis), linked to spinal steroid injections that help ease back pain, has affected about 13,000 individuals since May. Fungi visible to the naked eye were present in the steroids.
Those at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., have not only recalled their products, but they have shut down their operations, as well. Physicians and workers at the 76 clinics that issued the injections from the recalled lots were told that they needed to notify their patients of this widespread outbreak.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The early symptoms of fungal meningitis include headache, fever, dizziness, nausea, among other health complications, as well as redess or slurred speech. Fortunately, there is treatment for individuals infected with the disease related to the outbreak, and it requires an injection, as well—this time, with a safer outcome.