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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - A national outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroids has affected at least 227 people in Michigan, an increase of seven in the past week. The number of deaths remains unchanged at 13.
The Michigan Department of Community Health says there have been 67 meningitis cases as of Wednesday, the same as on Dec. 12.
There also have been 138 epidural abscesses, one stroke and 20 peripheral joint infections. Of those who died, 11 had meningitis, one had an epidural abscess and one had a stroke.
All the conditions are linked to contaminated steroids produced by a Massachusetts pharmacy used in injections for neck or back pain.
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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