35 Meningitis Cases Blamed on Contaminated Steroid Injections

CDC warns the outbreak could worsen despite suspected plant's being closed.
3:00 | 10/05/12

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Transcript for 35 Meningitis Cases Blamed on Contaminated Steroid Injections
We're going to turn to a major health care right now, breaking out in several states. Meningitis. 35 cases so far. Five people have died. The government blames contaminated steroid injections for back pain made at a plant in massachusetts. Even though the plant has been shut down, the cdc is warning the outbreak can still get worse. Dr. Richard besser is here to explain. You worked at the cdc. Why are they so worried it can spread? I talked to the lead investigator at the cdc. They're very worried about this. This was sent to 75 clinics in 25 different states. As doctors find the patients, they'll find this. What about this form of meningitis? You hear about meningitis. And you think about the outbreaks on college campuses, going person-to-person, very rapidly deadly. This is different. It's caused by a fungus, a mold that we're all exposed to. And it usually causes problems in people with immune problems. But here, it was injected directly into the spine. It goes up to the brain, causes inflammation. And in some people, it actually caused a stroke. What are the symptoms? It may be milder than what people think normally with meningitis, with stiff neck. Here's what you want to look for. Fever, but not always. You may have a worsening headache, nausea, weakness. But the stiff neck may be missing. If you had an injection with spinal steroid, you need to contact your doctor and find out if it came from the new england pharmacy. It's strange that it could get contaminated like this. That's the question. The question is, should that be allowed to happen? Dr. Richard besser, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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