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Health officials in Maryland did not immediately alert the public to what they thought could be causing meningitis, according to information obtained by the Associated Press.
Officials delayed notifying the entire state for nearly a week about a potential link between a spinal steroid shot and cases of meningitis, state epidemiologist David Blythe tells the AP. Officials wanted to gather and present as much information as possible, he adds.
He says the notification delay did not pose any 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 appeared before a legislative committee in November to present a timeline of the state's response. The AP obtained a copy of his testimony.
So far, there have been 25 cases of meningitis reported in Maryland and two people have died from the infection. Nationwide, more than 690 people have been infected.