published Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Dr. Dreyzehner: New CDC analysis provides hope

This undated photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a branch of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The fungus can also cause skin infections if it enters a break in the skin. The meningitis outbreak is linked to the fungus being accidentally injected into people as a contaminant in steroid treatments. It's not clear how the fungus got into the medicine.
This undated photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a branch of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The fungus can also cause skin infections if it enters a break in the skin. The meningitis outbreak is linked to the fungus being accidentally injected into people as a contaminant in steroid treatments. It's not clear how the fungus got into the medicine.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — The commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health says he’s seeing what he considers some light at the end of the tunnel in the case of a fungal meningitis outbreak that has killed nine people and sickened 70 others in the state.

The outbreak has been linked to epidural steroid injections that were made by the New England Compounding Center.

In a telephone conference with reporters on Wednesday, Dr. John Dreyzehner referenced a recent analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It says that the risk of stroke or death for a person who received an injection is usually gone 42 days after the injection.

Dreyzehner says a little more than 1,000 people in Tennessee got injections, and all but 250 are now beyond the 42-day window.

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