Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Surrounds Georgia - Know the Facts

Over 200 people have become sick and 19 people have died so far.

The Meningitis outbreak has now spread to 15 states including 3 states that border Georgia.  19 people have died from the disease that has been linked to drugs made by a Massachusetts pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center (NECC).

The CDC reports that no cases have been claimed in Georgia, but Florida has 13 cases and 3 deaths, N. Carolina has 2 cases and 0 deaths, and Tennessee has 61 cases and 8 deaths.  (Note these numbers change rapidly, check the latest)

For the fact that all of these states border Georgia, Cascade Patch thought that there are probably a number of readers who are interested in learning more about the disease and how people are attracting it.

Video on AOL NEWS about the Meningitis Outbreak

The current meningitis outbreak has been traced to a specific product and company.  According to the CDC the people who should be most concerned are, "patients who have received a steroid injection of a potentially contaminated product into the spinal area. Several patients suffered strokes that are believed to have resulted from their infection." 

The contaminated product is being traced to drugs made by a Massachusetts pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center (NECC).  They make various injectible drugs that are under investigation.

According to a Reuters report, "Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said on "CBS This Morning" that he expects a "steady increase" in the number of fungal meningitis infections over the coming weeks."

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include headache, fever and nausea. Fungal meningitis is not contagious.

The investigation also includes fungal infections associated with injections in a peripheral joint space, such as a knee, shoulder or ankle. CDC and public health officials are referring any patients who have symptoms that suggest possible meningitis or a possible peripheral joint infection to their physicians who can evaluate them further. Those patients injected in peripheral joints only are not believed to be at risk for fungal meningitis but could be at risk for joint infection. - CDC

If you have not received an injection in the last few months, you have nothing to worry about.  This form of meningitis is not contagious.  If you have had a spinal injection for any reason, you may be at high risk and should talk to your doctor t make sure you do not have any symptoms.  In addition, those who have received other joint injections in the past months should be slightly concerned.  The CDC says that those receiving joint injections are not at risk from the meningitis virus, but they could have contracted a joint infection. 

As always see a doctor or go to the hospital if you have questions and/or symptoms.

Marc Richardson (Editor) October 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
The company that made these infected injectibles is going to be in HuGE trouble. Luckily there is only 1 GA company that does business with them and they are in Macon. Hopefully that buyer will catch all over the infected products before a Georgia resident is affected.
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