The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced on Wednesday that a 60-year-old man from eastern Idaho is believed to have been infected with the fungal meningitis infection that's being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest case from Idaho would bring the total number of outbreak cases to 138 in 11 states, a press release from the IDHW said. At least 12 people have been reported dead due to the infection according to the CDC.
The Florida Health Department has also confirmed its first cases of fungal meningitis death. The victim was a 70 year old man who died in July, about two weeks after receiving an injection at the Florida Pain Clinic.
According to reports, the meningitis outbreak occurred after the steroid injections (methylprednisolone acetate) made by The New England Compounding Center (NECC) were given to people with back pain.
Reuters Health had earlier reported that the drugs that are likely behind the meningitis outbreak were manufactured since May and distributed to 76 facilities in 23 states until September.
According to the CDC, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, and West Virginia have received the tainted product.
Currently the CDC has recommended that patients of fungal meningitis be given two strong antifungal drugs called voriconazole and lipsomal amphotericin B. The treatment should be given to patients who have been tested positive for the infection, the CDC reports.
Doctors say that testing for the infection itself can be very dangerous. "Patients can't just come in and demand a test. It's definitely an invasive procedure," said Dr. Paul Been of Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, reports NBCnews.com. The procedure includes puncturing the spinal cord with a needle to take out a fluid sample.
The CDC had said on Tuesday that about 13,000 people have been exposed to the fungal meningitis. The list of facilities that have received the implicated product can be found here and the states that have had meningitis infection cases can be found here.