18 Confirmed Cases Of Fungal Meningitis, Including 2 Dead In Michigan

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – State health officials Sunday said the fungal meningitis outbreak linked to injections of a recalled back-pain medication continues to grow.

State health officials tell WWJ that there are now 18 confirmed cases of meningitis in Michigan; including two deaths.

The Michigan Department of Community Health plans to release details after the weekend, the outbreak has been linked to a steroid produced by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts.

A potentially contaminated product is suspected to be the cause of the outbreak. Interim data show that infected patients received injection with preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate prepared by the New England Compounding Center (NECC), located in Framingham, Mass. On Sept. 25, the NECC recalled three lots of product associated with known cases of fungal meningitis.

Four Michigan facilities received shipments of these recalled lots and are working with MDCH to identify and notify patients who may have received this product and be at risk for developing illness. The facilities are:

  • Michigan Neurosurgical Institutes in Grand Blanc
  • Michigan Pain Specialists in Brighton
  • Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation in Traverse City
  • Southeast Michigan Surgical Hospital in Warren

People who got the shots between July and September could be at risk.

Fungal meningitis is not transmitted person-to-person. Infected patients have presented approximately one to four weeks following their injection with a variety of symptoms including fever, new or worsening headache, nausea, and other symptoms consistent with a stroke. Some of these patients’ symptoms were very mild in nature.

Any individual who received an epidural steroid injection or steroid injection into a joint at one of the four Michigan facilities and is experiencing symptoms consistent with fungal meningitis or a stroke should immediately contact their physician or seek medical attention.

Additional information about this investigation can be found at www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.

Read related story, here.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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