ATLANTA, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- New Jersey is the 10th state to report at least one case of fungal meningitis in the outbreak that has now killed 11 people, U.S. health officials said Tuesday.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said the number of confirmed cases of the non-contagious form of meningitis, linked to an injectable steroid to treat back pain, had reached 119.
About 13,000 patients might have been exposed to the contaminated steroid methylprednisolone acetate received by injection, but we don't expect that many to get ill, the CDC said.
"Patients have had symptoms generally starting from one to four weeks after their injection. Not all patients who received the medicine will become sick," the CDC said on its website. "Symptoms that should prompt patients to seek medical care include: fever, new or worsening headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, new weakness or numbness, increasing pain, redness or swelling of the injection site."
Tennessee has the highest amount of fungal meningitis with 39 cases and six deaths, followed by: 24 cases and one death in Virginia, 25 cases and three deaths in Michigan, 12 cases in Indiana, eight cases and one death in Maryland, four cases in Florida, three cases in Minnesota, two cases in North Carolina and one case Ohio.
The source of the fungus had not yet been identified and the cause of infections in the other patients was still being assessed, but the infections were associated with a potentially contaminated medication -- the injectable steroid methylprednisolone acetate -- injected into the body to treat back pain.
The New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., notified its clients' the medication and all other products were recalled.
The states that received the steroid were: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and West Virginia.
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