Most of the fungal meningitis cases have spread across six states, and now the outbreak is responsible for at least one lawsuit.
According to health officials, five cases have reported deaths, and thirty-four more have gotten sick due to the meningitis outbreak.
They have not found the source of the fungal meningitis as yet; however, methylprednisolone acetate injections have been closely associated with the cases. This steroid is often injected into the spine to get rid of lower-back pain.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we advise all health care practitioners not to use any product” from the company, said Ilisa Bernstein, director of compliance for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Investigators also have been looking into the antiseptic and anesthetic used during the injections, according to Fox News. Neither has been ruled out. However, the primary suspicion is on the steroid medication.
Steroid shots are common for back pain, often given together with an anesthetic.
Tennessee has by far the largest number of meningitis complaints, but Virgina, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, and Indiana have also been impacted.
According to Dr. Robert Latham, a chief of medicine at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, one of their meningitis affected patients died late Wednesday.
On Thursday, The Centers for Disease Control confirmed that there are 35 cases nationally at this time, but additional cases are expected in the future.
The 35 cases are as follows:
- 25 in Tennessee
- 4 in Virginia
- 2 in Florida
- 2 in Maryland
- 1 in Indiana
- 1 in North Carolina