The Tennessee Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating cases of meningitis involving 11 patients treated at one outpatient surgical center and pain management clinic in Nashville and one patient treated at a facility in another state.
The form of meningitis in these patients is not transmitted from person to person and the cause for the cluster of cases is not known. Two patients related to this cluster of meningitis have died.
All patients at Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center who had lumbar epidural steroid injections between July 30 and Sept. 20 have been notified. The facility was closed Sept. 20 and will not reopen until the Health Department and CDC are confident the current concerns have been resolved.
No cases involving other medical facilities in Tennessee have been identified.
“We are extremely saddened by the impact this tragic situation has had on patients and their loved ones and we are working quickly to get answers,” said Dr. John Dreyzehner, commissioner of the Health Department.
There are many different types of meningitis, a general term for an infection or inflammatory process involving the lining of the brain and central nervous system.
The cluster of infections under investigation has no relation to the much more common form of bacterial meningitis recently reported by Tennessee media impacting the educational community, he said.
The Health Department and the Tennessee Poison Control Center have partnered to answer questions from the public about meningitis. Residents may call 1-800-222-1222 for information about this ongoing situation.