At CDC, scientists fight to halt a deadly outbreak

October 14, 2012 by Kate Brumback

(AP)—At the main campus of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dozens of people are working day and night to bring a meningitis outbreak under control.

Dr. John Jernigan is a medical epidemiologist at the CDC leading the clinical for the outbreak response. He says this infection, which is caused by a fungus, is very unusual.

Meningitis is typically caused by a virus or bacteria. The fungus linked to this outbreak is common in dirt and grasses, but it is making people sick because it found its way into a steroid injected into people with back pain.

That steroid was distributed by a Massachusetts pharmacy that is currently under investigation. Nearly 200 people in more than a dozen states have been sickened, including 15 who have died.

Explore further: Meningitis outbreak toll: 119 cases, 11 deaths


Related Stories

CDC: More than 90 people ill with meningitis

October 7, 2012

(AP)—Health officials say they have now confirmed more than 90 cases of a rare fungal meningitis that has been linked to a steroid commonly used to ease back pain.

US pharmacy linked to outbreak issues wide recall

October 7, 2012

(AP)—The pharmacy that distributed a steroid linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis has issued a voluntary recall of all of its products, calling the move a precautionary measure.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.