A Davidson County woman died Friday from complications related to the meningitis outbreak that has now killed 23 people in several states, North Carolina health officials reported Saturday.
The woman’s name was not disclosed in the Saturday night announcement by state Health Director Laura Gerald. The woman was one of two people in North Carolina who have been identified in the outbreak. Nationwide, there have been 284 cases of infections related to the outbreak.
The illnesses have been caused by fungi that are common but rarely cause meningitis, a state health spokeswoman said.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family on the loss of their loved one,” said Gerald in a statement. “Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”
The second North Carolina resident is still being treated but is no longer hospitalized, the spokeswoman said.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health is working with other state and federal agencies to investigate the outbreak. It has affected patients who received steroid injections with a potentially contaminated product, methylprednisolone acetate, produced by a single compounding pharmacy, New England Compounding Center.
The product was voluntarily recalled by the company on Sept. 26. All North Carolina providers that received the product have been notified, and all their patients have been contacted.
Three clinics in North Carolina received recalled lots of the steroid medication linked to the outbreak. Two clinics used the medicine for spinal injections, and they were located in High Point and Wilson. A clinic in Durham used the medicine for joint infections to relieve pain.
Neither of the two confirmed cases found in North Carolina was connected to the Durham clinic, state health officials said earlier this month.