Sue Manor is waiting to see if she gets sick after receiving a steroid injection that may have contained a rare form of meningitis. "I just thought we should research this. The more I research it the more worried I get."
Manor is one of 400 patients who got a call from a Tennessee clinic saying they may have been exposed to fungal meningitis -- a rare form of the disease which is not contagious.
The outbreak was discovered two weeks ago in Tennessee where 18 cases have been reported. There are also a handful of cases in Virginia, Maryland, Florida and North Carolina.
All the victims got sick after getting steroid injections most for back pain. "None of us have seen anything like this where a medication injected into the cerebral spinal fluid has caused infections so we're in new territory here," says Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness and fever.
The incubation period is between 2 and 28 days so there may be some people who are infected but don't know it yet. "The symptoms are not as dramatic and they come on more gradually."
Sue Manor is hopeful she stays healthy. "I'm sort of trying not to think of it as possibly me in a day or two."
And if she starts to feel any symptoms, she'll call the hospital right away.
A specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts makes the steroid medication. It issued a recall last week and has shut down operations.