Meningitis Scare Continues As Number Of Cases Grow
(Memphis) There are now 47 confirmed cases of the fungal meningitis in six states including Tennessee.
Five people are dead after getting meningitis from contaminated steroid injections typically given in the back.
Three of those deaths happened in Tennessee.
Health officials say hundreds of people in the state may have been given injections linked to the outbreak.
Manufacturers know exactly where those contaminated injections were sent.
The state is monitoring where those injections are, and so far, no hospitals or private practices in Shelby County have been notified they got the dangerous shipments.
Dr. Samuel Polk’s phone is ringing off the hook with people afraid they may have been exposed to meningitis after getting a steroid back injection.
He says the risk is small at this point because all the contaminated injections have either been given or recalled.
You’re also in the clear if you had the shot more than a month ago.
“If the pharmacy company knew they had a contaminated batch of medication and they let the providers know, we wouldn’t have as many cases as we do now,” said Dr. Polk.
Doctors say meningitis is so scary for people, because you can go from completely healthy to death in just a month.
They stress if you need an injection don’t let the outbreak scare you.
“Meningitis is a very uncommon almost unheard of consequence of epidural steroid injections,” said Dr. Autry Parker.
The cause of this outbreak is contaminated medication from a lab in New England, not used here in Memphis, and is not contagious.