Symptoms of fungal meningitis
During this outbreak, many patients with fungal meningitis had only a few mild symptoms. Most had headache, and some have had fever, nausea, and light sensitivity. Patients and clinicians need to remain vigilant for onset of symptoms because fungal infections can be slow to develop.
If you had an epidural steroid injection since May 21, 2012, and have any of the following symptoms, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
New or worsening headache |
New weakness or numbness in any part of your body |
Increased pain, redness or swelling at your injection site |
CDC will provide updated guidance as more information becomes available.
What is meningitis?
Meningitis is swelling of the protective membranes, or meninges, covering the brain and spinal cord. The swelling is usually caused by an infection with a bacteria or virus, but meningitis can also be caused by a fungus. Meningitis caused by a fungus is called fungal meningitis. The severity of illness and the treatment for meningitis differ depending on the cause, so knowing the specific cause of meningitis is important.
What is fungal meningitis?
Fungal meningitis occurs when the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord are infected with a fungus. Fungal meningitis is rare and usually caused by the spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord.
Is fungal meningitis contagious?
No. Fungal meningitis is not transmitted from person to person. The current outbreak is associated with a potentially contaminated medication that is injected into the body.
Is fungal meningitis common after spinal injections?
Epidural injections are generally very safe procedures, and complications are rare. Fungal meningitis is an extremely rare cause of meningitis overall, including after epidural injections. The type of epidural medication given to patients affected by this outbreak is not the same type of medication as that given to women during childbirth.