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Saturday, 10 November 2012

Meningitis: Pace of Outbreak Slows




The number of people afflicted in the continuing fungal meningitis outbreak continues to climb – reaching 438 cases in 19 states -- but the pace is slowing, judging by numbers reported by the CDC on Friday.
Since the last report Wednesday, 15 new cases have been reported, as well as an additional death, bringing that total to 32.
Most of the new cases and the new fatality occurred in Michigan, the state hardest hit by the outbreak.
In contrast, the Wednesday-to-Friday increase a month ago – Oct. 10 to 12 – was 48 cases, according to the agency's records.
The slowdown was predictable – the infections are linked to a contaminated steroid that was recalled Sept. 26 and people infected are not contagious. But officials have said extended vigilance will be needed because the incubation period for the disease is unclear.
In a similar but much smaller outbreak in 2002, the last patient to become ill developed symptoms 152 days after being given a contaminated steroid, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report account of the events.
10/11/2012  :  By Michael Smith / Med Page Today

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