It appears that the rare fungal meningitis outbreak is worse that we were lead to believe and is is now in 23 states. The outbreak of aspergillus meningitis has been linked to spinal steroid injections, which is a common treatment for back pain. So far the bad batch of steroid injections seemed to have originated from a Massachusetts based company called the New England Compounding Center, which is in the city of Framingham. The FDA says “Our investigation into the source of this outbreak is still ongoing.”
Twenty-five of the meningitis cases, three of them lethal, have been in Tennessee. Cases have also been reported in Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana. Over 75 clinics in 23 states that received the recalled lots have been instructed to notify all affected patients.
Dr. Benjamin Park of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states “If patients are concerned, they should contact their physician to find out if they received a medicine from one of these lots.”
Some may find comfort in knowing that unlike bacterial and viral meningitis, fungal meningitis is not transmitted from person to person and would only put those persons who received the steroid injections at risk.