A rare form of meningitis outbreak threatens U.S. citizens after 26 people got sick and four of them deceased on Wednesday. It is believed that the illness might have been caused by a steroid treatment which has been administered to patients with back pains, says the Associated Press.
Doctors are making efforts to identify the source of a rare meningitis form which is now threatening the health of U.S. citizens. 26 cases have been identified so far, the majority of them in Tennessee where a Nashville clinic administered most of the steroid treatments. The meningitis outbreak has already made victims as four people were declared dead on Wednesday and doctors expect the death toll to increase in the following days.
Health officials have linked the virus to a series of steroid injections that have been administered to patients in the past month. The treatment was produced by a pharmacy in Massachusetts; the company issued a recall last week and later on shut down operations.
There is good news, however: this type of meningitis is not as contagious as the more common forms tend to be. According to the recent researches, the rare form of meningitis might have been caused by a fungus that is often found in leaf mold and which might have been added to the structure of the steroid.
In addition to Tennessee, there have been cases of meningitis traced in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Florida. The victims who passed away were from Tennessee, Maryland and Virginia. Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner, John Dreyzehner, doubts that health officials will be able to put an end to the outbreak in a very short period of time. In his opinion, doctors should expect to see many more cases of meningitis in their hospitals.
Meningitis is defined as the disease which causes the inflammation of the lining of the brain and the spinal cord. Patients can experience severe headaches, dizziness, nausea and fever. Very few cases have also reported slurred speech, as well as difficulties in walking and urinating.