Symptoms on meningitis include severe headache, nausea, dizziness and fever. The CDC said many of the cases have been mild and some people had strokes. Symptoms have been appearing between one and four weeks after patients got the shots.
A Michigan man whose wife’s death was linked to the outbreak said yesterday that he, too, was treated with steroids from one of the recalled batches.
“Not only have I lost my wife, but I’m watching the clock to see if anything develops,” George Cary said, as friends and family gathered for his wife’s wake in Howell, 60 miles northwest of Detroit.
His wife, Lilian, 67, had been ill since late August, but meningitis wasn’t detected until Sept. 22, her husband said. She suffered a stroke and died Sept. 30, he said.
Michigan officials have not released the names of two people who have died in the outbreak in that state, but did say one was a 67-year-old woman.
Fungal meningitis is not contagious like the more common forms. The two types of fungus linked so far to the outbreak are all around, but very rarely causes illness. Fungal meningitis is treated with high-dose antifungal medications, usually given intravenously in a hospital.
The steroid is known as preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, which the compounding pharmacy creates by combining a powder with a liquid.
Doctors should contact any patient who got doses from any of the recalled lots, and should look back at their records as far back as mid-May, CDC officials say.