Fungal meningitis is a rare illness that causes swelling in the membrane surrounding the brain and spine. It cannot be passed from person to person, and health officials say the outbreak is caused by tainted drugs that were injected into the spine to relieve back pain.
The current outbreak, first reported last week, is linked to an injectable steroid made by the New England Compounding Center-- a pharmacy in Massachusetts. It has recalled the injected steroid. 75 facilities in 23 states received the product, according to the CDC.
Health officials say patients who received an injection at one of the facilities beginning May 21 and who started showing symptoms between one to three weeks after the injection, should see their doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, and neck stiffness. They can also include light sensitivity, confusion and dizziness.
Treatment includes high doses of anti-fungal medications, which are typically given through an IV line in the hospital.