Maryland health officials said Monday that two more patients have developed meningitis in the state after receiving a steroid injection for back pain in an outbreak that has hit nearly two dozen states.
Both patients are alive, but no additional information will be released.
Five people total in Maryland have now been diagnosed with the disease in a case linked to the steriod methylprednisolone acetate that was produced and distributed by the New England Compounding Center. One person in Maryland has died from the disease.
Seven state clinics received the steroid and have been contacting patients since last week.
State health officials said they expect to identify more cases over at least the next month because of the incubation period for meningitis.
Vials of steroids linked to the outbreak were shipped to 76 facilities in 23 states and could have been used to inject thousands of patients, authorities have said.
No other products have been implicated in this outbreak, the Maryland health department said. The New England Compounding Center has recalled a number of other products, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have advised all health care facilities with products from the company to stop using them.
State health officials are telling patients who received a spinal injection at any of the seven Maryland facilities between June 30 and Sept. 28, and have symptoms of meningitis or stroke, to contact their doctor.
Symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, neck stiffness, photophobia, nausea, or vomiting. Stroke symptoms include double vision, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, or difficulty walking.
The seven centers that used the steriod in Maryland are:
Berlin Interventional Pain Management, Berlin, MD
Box Hill Surgery Center, Abingdon, MD
Greenspring Surgery Center, Baltimore, MD
Harford County Ambulatory Surgery Center, Edgewood, MD
Maryland Pain Specialists, Towson, MD
SurgCenter of Bel Air, Bel Air, MD
Zion Ambulatory Center, Baltimore, MD