Rare form of meningitis in Tennessee

13 sickened, 2 dead from fungal infection

NASHVILLE | October 3, 2012

Two more people in Tennessee have been stricken with a rare form of meningitis in an outbreak that has taken two lives, state health officials said.

Thirteen people have been sickened by the fungal infection thus far, and Dr. David Reagan, chief medical officer of the Tennessee Department of Health, said, "There may be additional cases that come to light."

Meningitis is an inflammation of tissues around the brain, and is generally borne by bacteria or viruses.

Some of the sickened patients are improving and others are in critical condition.

"It's run the gamut," said Reagan.

Those infected received steroid injections at Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in Nashville between July 30 and Sept. 20 as a pain treatment, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Wednesday, noting that investigators from state health services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not revealed the manufacturer or the brand of medicine suspected of causing the illnesses because they have not yet ruled out other possible causes.

Another hospital where Reagan said the suspect medicine was used, the Specialty Surgery Center in Crossville, Tenn., also is being monitored,

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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