CDC: Meningitis outbreak claims third life in Michigan

Oct 9, 2012

The Centers for Disease Control reports a third fatality in Michigan tied to a nationwide meningitis outbreak.

A 78 year old Washtenaw County woman is the latest fatality.   Previously,  a 56 year old woman from Genesee County and a 67 year old woman from Livingston County were the only known fatalities in Michigan.

The CDC now says 25 patients in Michigan are linked to the outbreak tied to tainted steroid injections.   

The steroid injections were intended to relieve spinal pain.   But a fungus contaminated the compound used in the injection. 

Nationwide, the meningitis outbreak has sickened 119 people.  Eleven people have died, including three people in Michigan.

The Centers for Disease Control believe as many as 13 thousand people in 23 states may have been exposed to the tainted steroid.

State health officials expect the number of infected patients will continue to rise.  But, the state has dropped one suspected case from its official list.  The case involved a person with a fungal joint infection.   A State Health Department spokeswoman says they are only counting cases where patients were infected with an epidural injection.