Texas now has its first confirmed case of fungal meningitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There have been many new cases reported in recent days, including the first confirmed case in New York.
Currently, the states that have reported cases of fungal meningitis include: Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
The CDC has identified 254 cases of fungal meningitis throughout the states listed above and the number continues to climb. Additionally, 20 deaths have been confirmed. Sadly, the number of fatalities also continues to rise. Tennessee has the highest number of reported cases and deaths so far, followed by Michigan.
An estimated 14,000 people are believed to have been exposed to the contaminated steroid made by a compounding pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center (NECC) located in Framingham, Massachusetts. The CDC says that approximately 97% of these people have been notified.
It is important for the public to remember that this meningitis outbreak was caused by a pharmacy error and contamination. It is not contagious because it only affects those who have received a contaminated steroid injection into their spinal area, knee, shoulder or ankle.
There are many other states that have not reported meningitis cases as of yet but have confirmed receiving the contaminated steroids. These states include: California, Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and West Virginia. Because these dangerous drugs were distributed in these states, it is very likely that the number of meningitis-related cases and deaths will continue to grow.