14th meningitis case reported in Maryland

October 12, 2012|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

Health officials confirmed a 14th fungal meningitis case in Maryland on Friday as an outbreak of the disease continues to spread across the country.

Confirmed meningitis cases reached 184 nationwide. They are thought to stem from three batches of contaminated steroids injected into the body to relieve pain.

More than a dozen new cases have been confirmed daily across the country. One person in Maryland has died, while 14 have died nationwide.

The contaminated steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, was produced and distributed by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass. Vials were sent to 76 clinics in 23 states, including seven in Maryland. Authorities have said those vials could have been used to inject thousands of patients.

Most of the patients received injections to the spine, with the fungus causing meningitis, an infection of the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord. But others may have received it in joints to treat ailments like arthritis, which had caused health officials to suspect that new types of infections could crop up. One such case has shown up so far.

The outbreak spread to one additional state on Friday, with a case confirmed in Texas. Cases have now been reported in a dozen states.



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