An outbreak of meningitis has begun spreading to Virginia
Apparently there's a nasty outbreak of meningitis floating around several states and it has recently expanded to the Virginia area. This outbreak was the result of steroid injections used for back pain relief. These injections were apparently tainted by a fungus which caused the meningitis in the patients and the FDA has since located the source and the drug has been recalled.
What's so scary about meningitis is the fact that it masks itself with regular everyday symptoms - semingingly benign symptoms which will suddenly turn a drastic corner into a sometimes deadly illness. Here's what I found out about this particular outbreak of this deadly disease from NBC News:
Meningitis is an inflammation of the spinal cord, usually caused by bacteria or viruses. It can be very serious and is marked by a headache, fever, often a stiff neck and balance problems. Fungi and parasites can also cause this inflammation and in this case the common mold aspergillus is suspected. “The type of meningitis we are dealing with in this situation is not communicable person to person,” Dreyzehner said.
What this means is, we don't have to worry about a huge outbreak of this disease through casual contact - but, if you did have a steroid injection recently and you're exhibiting the above symptoms, you may want to see your doctor to ensure you are remaining well.
If you're interested in finding out more about Meningitis in general, you can find a ton of information at meningitis.org including:
How do you deal with the worries that come with the unknowns with things like meningitis and the recent west nile virus breakout?