In this guest column, UTMB’s Dr. Alfred Scott Lea explains that meningitis is an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It is usually caused spontaneously by bacteria and viruses. The current “outbreak” is caused by fungi (mainly Aspergillus, but also Exserohilum) that are inoculated in and around the spinal cord during a procedure known as epidural steroid injections (spinal steroid injections) for back pain and inflammation and is not contagious. To date, none of these medications have been used at UTMB, or in the greater Houston area. The column also appears in the Woodlands Online.