Kentucky now has five confirmed reports of fungal meningitis, and the Kentucky New Era reports that three or four have occurred in the southern Pennyrile region.
The New Era’s Nick Tabor writes that while no facilities in Kentucky have received the steroid responsible for the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control confirms that the Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in Nashville, Tenn., and two separate facilities in Crossville and Knoxville have distributed the steroid in injection form. All five Kentuckians who contracted the illness received medical care in Tennessee, the state reported.
The state’s Department for Public Health was notified this weekend of two cases in Todd County. One is Bill Johnson Sr., whose son ran against Rand Paul for U.S. Senate and Alison Lundergan Grimes for Kentucky Secretary of State. Carolyn Bland, director of the Trigg County Senior Center, was hospitalized Oct. 3 for meningitis, said her daughter, Beth Taylor. Eddie Lovelace, a long-time circuit judge from Clinton County, died of meningitis last month. He was being treated at St. Thomas when he died.
As of Tuesday, health officials have reported 119 infections and 11 deaths across the nation, and six of those deaths were in Tennessee.
For the CDC’s complete list of the facilities that received the steroid, broken down by state, go here.
Kentucky Health News is a service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.