A 70-year-old Minnesota woman contracted fungal meningitis last week, the fourth reported case in Minnesota of an outbreak that has caused 15 deaths nationally, the Star Tribune reported Saturday.
The three previous Minnesota cases involved women in women in their 40's, according to the Star Tribune. Two of the women have been treated and released from the hospital and the third is expected to be released from the hospital soon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked the outbreak to three lots of a contaminated steroid medication , according to Scientific American. The three lots came from a steroid maker in New England, which was not licensed to sell medication in bulk, according to the Star Tribune.
The CDC estimated that 13,000 people were exposed to the medication nationally, according to Scientific American.
State officials estimated that 950 people were treated with the steroid. Since symptoms take four to six weeks to appear, state officials expect more cases to develop.
Fungal meningitis, however, is not contagious- which means there is no risk for the general public- according to Scientific American.