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Five Cases of Meningitis in Virginia

Hundreds of patients received doses of steroids tainted with meningitis. Know the signs and symptoms.

There are now five known cases of meningitis and related strokes in Virginia, but more than 600 people may have received tainted steroid injections, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Although the clinics known to have received tainted steroids are far from Northern Virginia — Insight Imaging in Roanoke and New River Valley Surgery Center in Christiansburg — the story continues to develop and additional clinics could be listed in the days ahead.

The tainted product has been recalled, VDH reports. A number of patients also received tainted steroids at clinics in Maryland, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. (See more about the Maryland meningitis cases here.)

However, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of meningitis:

What is meningitis?

Meningitis is inflammation of the tissue around a person’s brain or around the spinal cord. It can be caused by a virus, bacteria or, rarely, a fungus. However, in the Virginia cases this fall, fungus has been discovered in several people. Fungal meningitis is treatable and not contagious.

What are the symptoms of meningitis?

According to VDH: “Symptoms include a fever, new or worsening headache, nausea, and new symptoms that look like a stroke, such as falling or having problems walking or talking.  While some of the patients in this outbreak have very mild symptoms, in some cases the symptoms can get worse and be life threatening.”

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