Officials estimate 13K people exposed to steroid linked to meningitis outbreak



WFTV learned new information on Monday on the meningitis scare linked to tainted steroid shots.

Health officials now estimate 13,000 people have been exposed to the steroid linked to fungal meningitis and more people have become sick.

WFTV's Jorge Estevez talked with local health officials on Monday. The Orange County Health Department said that no cases of meningitis have been reported and that they've contacted everyone who could have gotten the possibly contaminated steroid.

Read story: Pharmacy linked to outbreak issues wide recall

Two cases have been confirmed in Marion County: an 87-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman.

Thirteen medical facilities in Central Florida were notified they have the contaminated steroid. That includes Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery and three centers in Ocala.

At least 20 people at the Surgery Center of Ocala were injected with the potentially tainted steroid shot, but have not shown any symptoms.

Nationwide, eight people have now died and 105 have become sick from the shot in nine states. Tennessee has the most with 32 cases.

The tainted steroid was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. It has since voluntarily recalled the medicine.

The steroid, injected into the spine to reduce back pain, was contaminated with a fungus that goes from the spinal fluid up to the brain, causing meningitis.

Fungal meningitis is very rare and non-contagious. Early symptoms include headache, fever and slurred speech. If you received a steroid shot, contact your doctor immediately. For a list of any clinics in your area affected by the outbreak, click here.