How Meningitis Outbreak Affects Missouri So Far

6 years 5 days 11 hours ago Tuesday, October 09 2012 Oct 9, 2012 Tuesday, October 09, 2012 6:29:00 PM CDT October 09, 2012 in News
By: Stacy Ike
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COLUMBIA - Health officials say as many as 13,000 people received steroid shots suspected in a national meningitis outbreak.

The latest number of people affected by the outbreak is 119 including 11 deaths.

Jefferson City Infection preventionist says in Missouri, there is nothing to worry about just yet.

"Well we looked into it right away, our spinal surgeon had contacted our pharmacy that day and they confirmed that we did not purchase anything from any of these compounding pharmacies."

Emergency room physician Scott Schultz said there is the outbreak is focused on fungal meningitis and not bacterial meningitis, therefore there is nothing to worry about here in Missouri.

"The outbreak that is going in now is noncommunicable. It is due to a drug that was contaminated and it is not transmissible between different people," said Schultz.

He also says people do not need to go out of their way to get vaccinations.

"If you were already planning to get a vaccination, then sure, but for this specific disease, there are no vaccines available and it is very rare," said Schultz. "This is a one-off thing it should never happen again, it shouldn't have happened this time." 

The sympoms include severe headaches, fever, altered mental status, sensitivity to light and vomiting. 

As of now, there have been no spinal infections due to the tainted drug reported in Missouri. 

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