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TN meningitis outbreak grows Thursday

6:42 PM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
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A national meningitis outbreak continues to grow.  Tennessee has been hit the hardest so far.

New Tennessee cases brings the total 25 infected patients.  The death toll in Tennessee was raised to three Thursday afternoon.

Nationwide, the fungal meningitis has impacted 35 people in six states.  A total of five deaths have been reported nationwide.

A steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, made at the New England Compounding Center continues to be the main concern.  It is administered in some epidurals for back pain.

Local doctors are making sure they don't have any medication from the questionable lots.

UT Medical Center does use the steroid.  However, their medicine is not made by the provider in question. The medical center said they administer up to 10 epidural steroid injections every day.

"Now that we've determined the Depo-Medrol [brand name for methylprednisolone acetate] is not from the affected company, we will start using that again," said Dr. Jeff Staack, assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at UT Medical Center.

The Tennessee Department of Health will release new infection numbers at noon on Friday.

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