Wait and See Is the Next Phase of the Meningitis Outbreak

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Worrying for weeks about the possibility you may have contracted a deadly form of fungal meningitis is now a reality for some 12,000 people who received notices from the Centers for Disease Control. The AP reports that the CDC has tracked down almost but not all of the 14,000 people who may have received contaminated steroid injections and have warned them to be on the lookout for signs of illness for months. "Symptoms have been appearing between one and four weeks after patients got the shots, but CDC officials on Thursday warned at least one illness occurred 42 days after a shot," reports the AP.

Adding even more uncertainty to this group of potential victims of the medical contamination, the treatment for those who get sick is still a work in progress. "Health officials are hurriedly trying to determine the best way to treat this kind of an illness, and have settled on two very strong anti-fungal medications. Consulting with experts, they're making a best guess as to the dosage and length of time patients will have to be treated," reports the AP.

This form of meningitis isn't contagious, and only those people who received the contaminated shots are at risk of getting sick. This nasty outbreak first appeared in some 30 patients on October 4, and in a little over a week that number has ballooned to about 170 people in 11 states, and is responsible for 14 deaths.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.