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Meningitis Outbreak: How Do I Know If I'm Safe?

By Heather Mathis
By hmathis@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON Tenn.- A rare meningitis outbreak has now spread to six different states.

Twenty-five of the thirty-five reported cases involved patients of the St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville.

All 35 cases are of patients who have previously received a spinal or epidural steroid injection within the last three months.

The fungal meningitis occurring is not contagious like other types such as viral and bacterial meningitis. But they all have the same symptoms and can be fatal.

This outbreak has West Tennesseans concerned that an outbreak could happen here. The Chief Medical Officer of Jackson-Madison County General Hospital said the allegedly tainted injection was not shipped to this area. "We do not have or use any of the methylprednisolone acetate lots in our pharmacy," said Dr. Dave Roberts.

Dr. Roberts said people who have received a steroid injection at General will not need at be checked, but should still watch out for symptoms.

No other cases have been reported from any other hospitals in West Tennessee.
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