Health officials are expecting to find more cases of a rare and deadly form of meningitis that has sickened more than two dozen people in five states. Four have died.
All received steroid injections, mostly for back pain, a fairly typical treatment.
The type of meningitis involved is not contagious like the more common forms. This type is caused by a fungus often found in leaf mold and which health officials suspect may have been in the steroid.
Eighteen of the cases are in Tennessee, where a Nashville clinic received the largest shipment of the steroid. The drug was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts that issued a recall last week. Investigators, though, say they are still trying to confirm the source of the infection.
Three cases have been reported in Virginia, two in Maryland, two in Florida and one in North Carolina. Two of the deaths were in Tennessee, and Virginia and Maryland had one each, said officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More new cases are almost certain to appear in the coming days, said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner. Five new cases were confirmed over the past 24 hours, he said Wednesday, calling the situation a “rapidly evolving outbreak.”
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