Meningitis Death Confirmed at LewisGale Medical Center in Salem - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Meningitis Death Confirmed at LewisGale Medical Center in Salem

Posted: Updated:

7:25 p.m.

LewisGale spokeswoman Joy Sutton said three people have tested positive for meningitis and one of them died.

Sutton said one patient who passed away a couple of weeks ago tested positive for meningitis and had received a spinal epidural, one of the shots in question.

She said the remaining two cases tested positive within the past 48 hours.

Sutton said one patient is in LewisGale Medical Center in Salem, and the other is in the LewisGale Hospital at Alleghany in Low Moor.

She said 18 people have visited a LewisGale emergency room complaining of one or more symptom of meningitis.

Sutton said it would take a few days longer for tests to determine if the three positive cases are cases of fungal meningitis.

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6:30 p.m.

We've learned the drug that's connected to the fungal meningitis outbreak came from New England and is known as Methylprednisolone.

Health officials confirm more than 500 patients in Southwest Virginia could be at risk. Two local hospitals tell us they are treating patients related to the outbreak.

Carilion tells us seven patients have been admitted for meningitis and 12 others are being evaluated.

A spokeswoman with LewisGale Medical Center in Salem tells us two people tested positive, with 18 others showing symptoms.

Symptoms include headache, fever, unsteady gait, and slurred speech.

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1:30 p.m.

We have learned two clinics here in Southwest Virginia gave injections to patients that are directly linked to an out-of-state pharmacy medical investigators believe caused a multi-state meningitis outbreak.

The Virginia Department of Health confirmed the information but declined to give out details on the pair of clinics, including specific names and locations.

The VDH said if you have received one of the injections in question, the medical clinic that gave you the injection will call you on the phone with further instructions.

The VDH said you should then call your personal physician, or go to the emergency room if you feel symptomatic.

The Associated Press is reporting that this form of fungal meningitis is not contagious.