"Some are improving and some are in critical condition, so it's across the gamut," says Tennessee Chief Medical Officer David Reagan.
Reagan says the state has 2 new cases of what's believed to be a fungal form of meningitis. The outbreak is such a concern the Centers for Disease Control is helping investigate and determine a treatment.
"There is not a lot of experience in treating this, but we're getting the best experts together to try to formulate what people think may be a good course of action for people to take," says the Department of Health's Marion Kainer.
Counting these 2 new cases, there are 13 total in Tennessee. Every one of them is a patient who received an epidural steroid injection at the St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center. That procedure is typically to help people deal with back pain and one explanation of what happened is mold contaminated it, but it's not the only theory. North Carolina has also identified a case and investigators say the procedure there had similarities. The full story remains a mystery that's now involving a new medical facility. The company behind St. Thomas' steroid injections also shipped some to the Specialty Surgery Center in Crossville, and investigators are watching close to see if this outbreak spreads there. Both the facilities in Crossville and Nashville are closed tonight. Combined, they may have had as many as 930 patients who underwent this procedure during the July 30 - September 20 time frame investigators are worried about. This outbreak of fungal meningitis is rare. The more common types of the inflammation are bacterial and viral, which the CDC reports can be transmitted from person to person. Bacterial can be treated with antibiotics or steroids. There's no specific treatment for viral. It basically runs its course. Friday, October 5 2012, 02:45 PM CDT