A deadly meningitis outbreak that has claimed 12 lives across 10 states has mobilized federal and local officials and health care providers, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a multistate investigation.
As described in a call Tuesday with members of the National Public Health Information Coalition, the fungal meningitis is not contagious, and only at risk to people who received epidural steroid injections — which does not include epidural injections given to women at childbirth — between May 21 and Sept. 26.
Americans who have received epidural steroid injections should contact their doctors if they are experiencing these conditions, according to CDC’s Molly Gaines-McCollum:
- worsening headaches;
- sensitivity to light;
- stiff neck;
- numbness in any parts of their bodies; or
- slurred speech.
“Patients should contact the physician that performed their procedure,” Gaines-McCollum said.
Additionally, the agency asks clinicians to keep in regular contact with patients who received medicines associated with three lots of the steroid. The agency has also confirmed the 75 health care facilities that received the contaminated product, and opened its emergency operations center to maximize its outreach.
The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are coordinating the investigation.
More information on fungal meningitis is available at CDC online.