Massive Meningitis Outbreak

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Massive Meningitis Outbreak

This is an image that depicts the area of meninges of the central nervous system.

This is an image that depicts the area of meninges of the central nervous system.

This is an image that depicts the area of meninges of the central nervous system.

This is an image that depicts the area of meninges of the central nervous system.

Kayla Wilson, Writer

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Across the U.S., twenty three people have died and around three hundred people are in various stages of a deadly meningitis outbreak, which is possibly linked to back pain medication.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the tissue around the spinal cord and brain that causes headaches, back pain, and in extreme cases, even death. Apparently, those afflicted with this type also exhibit minor stroke like symptoms, such as slurred speech and trouble walking.

People taking a steroid drug, methylprednisolone acetate, find that they are having bad cases of meningitis. According to MSN.com, this may be due to the fact that the drug is contaminated with an uncommon leaf mold fungus that causes a particularly nasty fungal infection.

Nancy Bocchino, the nurse at Bob Jones High School said, “It’s interesting to me that it’s a fungal infection, because that’s unusual. In the United States we are used to everything being safe or being made safe, so this is particularly scary to us. If somebody hadn’t checked this or connected the dots, this could have been much more deadly than this.”

There is a recall on the drug, but due to a long incubation period it may claim more victims. Meningitis is not spread by casual human contact, but the steroids were distributed to many places, mostly focusing on the southeast. Hopefully, the doctors can contain this outbreak soon and prevent any other people being harmed.

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