LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Two more deaths are now being blamed on a multi-state meningitis outbreak linked to tainted steroids. According to the Michigan Health Department, there have now been a total 164 cases and 10 deaths in Michigan linked to the meningitis outbreak.
The latest causalities are a 75-year-old woman and a 50-year-old woman, both from Livingston County.
According to health officials, 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 the Michigan Department of Community Health 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.
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