Meningitis Outbreak Sparking Concerns

By Hogstrom, Erik | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), October 19, 2012 | Go to article overview

Meningitis Outbreak Sparking Concerns


Hogstrom, Erik, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


A national meningitis outbreak linked to back-pain injections raised awareness of the disease while highlighting crucial differences in types.

A deadly fungal meningitis outbreak has sickened more than 250 people in 16 states, including Illinois. Twenty people have died. The outbreak is linked to steroid injections for back pain.

"I understand there was contamination in the lab," said Peg Murphy, administrator of the Jo Daviess County (Ill.) Health Department. "If you have back pain, you want that shot so you're not in pain. You would never think that (meningitis) would be a side effect."

Here is a look at meningitis and its various forms.

WHAT DOES "MENINGITIS" MEAN?

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

Although there are various forms of meningitis, they share common, initial symptoms - a sudden fever, a severe headache and a stiff neck. Extreme sensitivity to light is also common among meningitis sufferers. …

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