Fungal Meningitis
4:12 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Idaho Has Its First Confirmed Case Of Fungal Meningitis

An Eastern Idaho man has come down with fungal meningitis that has sickened 138 people across the country. 

Not much is known about the man.  He’s over sixty and he's being treated for his illness.  State Epidemiologist Doctor Christine Hahn says the man is the first in Idaho to get sick from the drug outbreak.  People in 11 states have become ill and 12 have died.  The injectable steroid comes from a company in Massachusetts which has recalled the drug. 

Hahn says she’s concerned that Idaho could see more cases of meningitis.  She says doctors simply don’t know how long it takes someone to get sick from the drug. "One patient in another state got sick about 42 days after receiving an injection, so it’s not like most things where you get sick pretty quickly, this could take quite a while.” 

Hahn stressed that only two Idaho facilities received shipments of the steroid.  They are Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett and Pain Specialists of Idaho in Idaho Falls.  No other Idaho medical facility uses the drug.  Four people received injections from Walter Knox.  The Idaho Falls clinic treated 35 people with the drug. 

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio