• North Carolina, 1 of 15 states affected by meningitis outbreak

    By: Erica Bryant


    NORTH CAROLINA - North Carolina is one of 15 states that have been affected by the meningitis outbreak. Health officials are warning about treatments besides the steroid shots for back pain that were implicated in the outbreak.

    Two new medications may be linked to a deadly nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis. The drugs are made by the same specialty pharmacy, New England Compounding Center, which distributed the steroids that are now suspected of sickening at least 233 people in 15 states.

    The CDC said 15 people have died to date, including Marsha Martin's mother. [What was her mother's name?]

    "She was probably infected with the first injection and from that day, the course had been set," said Martin.

    The FDA is investigating at least two new infections: one of a heart transplant patient who received a different product made by NECC; the other is being linked to another epidural injection. The FDA is recommending doctors stop using all products made by NECC.

    "Out of abundance of caution, any drug that's been injected, they think that doctors should follow up with those patients and make sure there are no problems," said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical editor.

    The injectable steroid is still the primary concern and the health department in Alabama put out an alert today.

    "Severe headache, some fever, difficulty with balance, any of those signs and you should see your doctor right away and they would do a spinal tap," said Besser.

    Experts believe most patients should be in the clear in roughly two weeks, which would be a full four weeks after the NECC shut down its operations.

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