Health Officials: Meningitis Outbreak Not Contagious

Published 10/05 2012 04:22PM

Updated 10/05 2012 07:53PM

HAGERSTOWN, MD - Just the sound of the word meningitis can be enough to scare many people, so it's no surprise that several recent cases have raised concerns.

"It's something that affects the community. Some of this is happening in Baltimore which is nearby," says local resident Amy Sachs.

Health officials are investigating 26 cases of severe meningitis in five states. There have been four deaths, including one in Maryland and one in Virginia.

But health officials are cautioning the public that there are different types of meningitis.  the current outbreak is fungal meningitis, which is not contagious.

"Only the persons who received steroid injections through needles - they are at risk of this fungal meningitis," says Dr. Mohammed Bilgrami of Meritus Medical Center.

The symptoms to watch out for - fevers, headaches, sleepiness and personality changes. 

Doctors say meningitis can be treatable if caught in time.

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