February 5, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 23°F


Infected meningitis patients increasing rapidly

Map of healthcare facilities that received vials of the tainted epidural steroid injection. States highlighted in blue received the medicine. Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


A meningitis scare has swept the nation. There are 15 confirmed deaths across 13 states due to meningitis. In one week the number of people infected more than doubled;: increasing from 91 to 197, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’ve had a steroid shot to treat back pain since July you may want to read closely.

This outbreak is a result of a contaimined epidural steroid injection used to treat back pain. Nearly 18,000 vials of the steroid shot were shipped out before it got recalled, of which went to over 14,000 patients. The pharmacy shipped the tainted vials to 23 states and 76 medical facilities. The number of infected people is expected to continue increasing.

The steroid comes from a pharmacy in Massachusetts, which distributes custom made drugs. Federal lawmakers are investigating FDA regulations at the pharmacy and exactly how the steroid got contaiminated. Lawsuits have been filed by some patients infected with meningitis.

Typical symptoms of meningitis are stiff neck, slurred speech and balancing problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that anyone who has received a steroid shot since July should contact their physician.