The number of Ohio residents diagnosed with a rare form of meningitis stemming from steroid injections made by the New England Compounding Center has risen from three to seven, the state Department of Health announced yesterday. All four people who recently contracted the illness live in Marion County and are between the ages of 45 and 55. Earlier, there were confirmed cases in Hamilton, Morrow, and Crawford counties.
According to the Associated Press, officials believe an estimated 425 Ohioans received the injections. Four clinics throughout the state received the contaminated steroid injections and 64 purchased other pharmaceuticals from the New England Compounding Company. The Food and Drug Administration has recalled all medicine the company makes.
The national death toll resulting from the recent meningitis outbreak has reached 19, with nearly 250 others sickened in more than a dozen states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the deaths of two individuals in Tennessee and one in Florida and Virginia Wednesday. Fourteen new cases were also confirmed yesterday.
Victims who received the steroid injections took the medication to treat back pain. According to the Boston Globe, most people affected with the illness have a rare form of noncontagious, fungal meningitis. Symptoms of meningitis usually includes nausea, fever, and headaches.