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Meningitis Update – Tennessee Hit the Hardest

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Today the CDC announced that another 3 people have died from a rare fungal meningitis linked to steroid injections originating from a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts.

According to the CDC, there are currently 119 sick people identified in 10 states. Today, New Jersey was added to the list of states to report at least one illness related to the injection.

The hardest hit of the states is Tennessee, which currently reports 6 deaths and 39 people suffering from fungal meningitis. Dr. John Dreyzehner, Tennessee’s health commissioner, held a press conference stating that the incubation period may be longer than originally believed – it can be anywhere from 6 to 42 days. He added that the average time from injection to symptoms in Tennessee patients has been 16 days.

If Dr. Dreyzehner is correct, it may give some hope that the worst of the outbreak will soon be behind us. The contaminated steroid injections were recalled on September 26th and this Friday marks 16 days from the last date of possible injection.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention cautions anyone that received a back shot between after May 21, 2012 and before September 26, 2012 (when the injections were recalled) to check with the CDC facilities map to see if their facility received the contaminated batch of medicine. The CDC map can be linked to here.

If you received the shot from a facility listed on the CDC website, call the number listed on the CDC website immediately as well as your primary care doctor.