The Virginia Department of Health reported two new meningitis cases Friday, bringing the total to six statewide, including one death.
The outbreak is centered on two facilities in Southwest Virginia where perhaps hundreds of patients have been exposed. Patients that had spinal injections at the facilities have been exposed to a deadly fungus. The steroids at the center of the outbreak are no longer available, said Dr. David Trump, Director of Epidemiology for the Virginia Department of Health.
The steroids are believed to have been contaminated with Aspergillos. The fungus then results in a rare form of meningitis that could be deadly. However, the disease is non-communicable and treatable, if caught early.
Richmond and the surrounding areas have not seen a case of meningitis due to contaminated steroids, so far. Symptoms of the disease include severe headaches, nausea, stiff necks, slurred speech, and loss of balance.
If you have these symptoms and have been exposed to steroids, you should seek immediate medical care.
Meanwhile, Tennessee's State Health Commissioner reported four new cases Friday. There are now 29 reported cases and three deaths in that state.
Nationally, more than three dozen people in six states have contracted the rare meningitis, with five reported fatalities.
The Massachusetts pharmacy that supplied the steroid has recalled nearly 17,000 lots of the medicine while federal officials have warned health care providers not to use any products from the New England Compounding Center, the Associated Press reported.
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