Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Friday, October 19, 2012
(UNDATED) - Fungal meningitis outbreak that’s sickened 34 Hoosiers and killed 20 people nationwide has sparked a second kind of outbreak — what doctors call “the worried well.”
Some emergency-room nurses report people coming to the ER concerned that they've got meningitis.
Methodist Hospital at IU Health physician Erik Fossum says those patients aren't making up symptoms -- they really are sick. But he says the chance of getting fungal meningitis is remote.
The current outbreak affects only people who have had a spinal steroid injection, and not many of them.
Fossum says it's common to see patients hop on the disease of the moment, from meningitis to West Nile Virus, especially when the symptoms are common ones like fever or nausea.
Fossum says the number of Methodist patients wondering about meningitis is small but noticeable, though he notes he hasn't treated any such cases himself. A Community Health Network spokeswoman says Community has had no copycat ER cases.
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