Indiana fungal meningitis cases rise to 45

Associated Press Published: October 29, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A northern Indiana teenager is expected to return to school this week after recovering from fungal meningitis that's linked to tainted back pain medication, her mother said Monday.

Karissa Klemm, 16, was diagnosed Oct. 11 with fungal meningitis after being checked out at an emergency room for a lingering headache, nausea and stiff neck, said her mother, Tracy Klemm of Bristol.

The girl apparently contracted the disease from an injection to relieve pain from a herniated disc, Tracy Klemm said.

OSMC Outpatient Surgery Center in Elkhart telephoned the family in late September and informed them that Karissa had received an injection from a tainted batch of steroids, Tracy Klemm said.

"She had had a headache that week, and it started to get very worse," Klemm said.

Once a spinal tap revealed that Karissa had meningitis, she was admitted to the hospital, where she spent the next 10 days.

The Northridge High School sophomore is expected to return to school Wednesday following another checkup, her mother said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday increased the number of Indiana cases of fungal meningitis to 45, one more than previously reported. The number of deaths remains at three, and Elkhart County's health officer has said all are linked to the northern Indiana county.

The Indiana State Department of Health has said six Indiana clinics received the tainted steroids. Besides the OSMC Outpatient Surgery Center, the tainted steroid also went to clinics in Columbus, Evansville, Fort Wayne, South Bend and Terre Haute.

The steroids have been traced to the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass.


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