MINNEAPOLIS - A tenth Minnesotan now has fungal meningitis linked to a deadly outbreak from tainted steroids.
The 60-year-old Twin Cities woman, has not been hospitalized, but is being treated.
According to experts, the treatment's effectiveness for this particular kind of fungal meningitis is still unclear.
Doctors say the type of mold found in the tainted steroids hasn't really been seen before in humans, so they are learning as they go.
Dr. David Boulware, an infectious disease specialist with the University of Minnesota, said, "This is a different fungus, but it's sort of in the same fungal family of organisms. So using the experience of other fungal meningitis, these medicines we know do get into the brain and the central nervous system and should be effective."
He said patients are typically treated for three months but some may be treated up to six months or more, until symptoms start to disappear.
In fewer than 5% of patients, he said visual hallucinations of color are a possible treatment side effect.
Boulware said fungal meningitis in general can be fatal in up to 30% of cases, but early diagnosis is key.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, it will be some time before the risk of new infections drop off.
Boulware says the infection can incubate for up to six weeks.
Nationwide, the tainted steroids are believed to have sickened at least 350 people and killed 25.
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