Md. waited to alert public on meningitis

WASHINGTON — Maryland health officials who learned of a potential link between a spinal steroid shot and cases of fungal meningitis waited nearly a week before alerting the general public.

State epidemiologist David Blythe said in an interview this week that officials delayed notifying the entire state in order to gather and present as much information as possible.

He said the notification delay posed no harm to the public since the state immediately alerted the seven clinics that were distributing the shots to make sure they stopped using them.

Blythe presented a timeline of the state’s response while appearing before a legislative committee in November. A copy of his prepared remarks was obtained by The Associated Press.

There have been 25 cases of meningitis reported so far in Maryland, including two deaths.

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