U.S. health officials have announced that 20 people have died as a result of an outbreak of the disease in states including Longoria’s native Texas, Florida, Idaho and Tennessee, and there are 257 non-fatal cases.
It appears the actress’ unnamed friend is among those who have fallen ill.
In a post on Twitter.com on Thursday (18Oct12), the former Desperate Houswives star wrote, “Visiting my friend in hospital in Texas, she’s one of the meningitis cases, please pray for her! I’ll be off twitter rest of night!”
The meningitis outbreak has been linked to a contaminated steroid shot for back pain from specialist pharmacy The New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts. The facility has since been shut down and all products have been recalled amid a federal investigation.
Health officials have revealed that 12,000 of the estimated 14,000 people who received the contaminated steroid have been contacted.
Meningitis is a bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.