Michigan reports 4th meningitis death

State has 49 cases; Nationwide there are 257

Published On: Oct 18 2012 06:04:38 PM EDT
DETROIT -

The Michigan Department of Community Health says the state has had another death from the outbreak of fungal meningitis.

The latest victim is a 62-year-old man from Washtenaw County.

He is the fourth person to die in the state.

The MDCH says there are 49 patients in the state who have meningitis that is thought to be linked to contaminated injectable steroids from a Massachusetts company.

he CDC updated Thursday the number of people known to have contracted noncontagious fungal meningitis from steroid injections. The number of nationwide cases grew by 10 to 257.

Three of the cases are a "peripheral joint infection" that specifically affects a joint such as a knee, hip, shoulder or elbow, officials said.

Sixteen states have been affected, including New York, which was added to the CDC's list Thursday.'

Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It is usually caused by an infection, frequently with bacteria or a virus, but it can also be caused by less common pathogens, such as fungi in this case, according to the CDC.

Fungal meningitis is very rare and, unlike viral and bacterial meningitis, is not contagious.