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Exserohilum & Fungal Meningitis

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Published on Feb 26, 2014

Exserohilum is a common mold found in soil and on plants, especially grasses. It thrives in warm and humid climates and can cause root rot in some plants.

It is a very rare cause of infection in people, but it has been known to cause several different types of infections, including infection in the skin or the cornea, which are typically due to skin or eye trauma. Exserohilum can also cause more invasive forms of infection in the sinuses, lungs, lining of the heart and bone. These infections are believed to occur more likely in people with weak immune systems. Like other fungal infections, Exserohilum infections are not transmitted from person to person.

Exserohilum rostratum has been identified as one of the predominant pathogens in the 2012 multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and other fungal infections associated with contaminated steroid injections. Twenty-three states received contaminated injectable steroids from three lots of the steroids that were associated with the outbreak and were linked to a compounding center in Massachusetts. Hundreds of cases were reported, including dozens deaths.

Fungal meningitis occurs when the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord are infected with a fungus. Fungal meningitis is rare and usually caused by the spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord.

Signs and symptoms of fungal meningitis may include the following:
• Fever
• Headache
• Stiff neck
• Nausea and vomiting
• Sensitivity to light
• Altered mental status

During this outbreak, some patients developed spinal or paraspinal infections at the injection site. These conditions could occur on their own or in addition to meningitis.

These are just a few things to know about Exserohilum and its role in a recent outbreak of fungal meningitis, to learn more about this or other indoor air quality, health & safety, and environmental issues, please visit the websites shown in the video.

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