Steroid injections cause meningitis infections in Michigan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that people in Michigan have contracted meningitis from steroid injections.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation can come from viruses, bacteria, other microorganisms and even from certain drugs.

Symptoms of meningitis are headache, neck stiffness, fever, confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting and the inability to tolerate light. Different strains of meningitis might come with other symptoms, for example, a rash.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are conducting a multi-state investigation of people who received steroid injections. It is believed that these injections were contaminated and are causing meningitis infections.

Steroid injections are used to treat a variety of problems. One of the more popular types of steroid shots are cortisone shots, which are used to fight inflammation, especially in the body's joints. Steroid injections can also be used to ease back pain and handle symptoms of tennis elbow.

There have been 260 reported cases of meningitis and 16 meningitis deaths in Michigan. The outbreak is being handled by local public health facilities and the four facilities in Michigan where the recalled steroid shots were distributed.