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Michigan Reports 239 Infections Linked To Steroids

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CBS Detroit (con't)

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Authorities say the number of meningitis and other infections linked to contaminated steroids has risen to 239 in Michigan. That includes 14 deaths.

The state Department of Community Health released the latest count Wednesday. It includes 67 cases of fungal meningitis, 150 epidural abscesses, one stroke and 20 peripheral joint infections.

Wednesday’s infection total is up 22 from 217 Michigan cases reported a month ago on Dec. 10.

The conditions are part of a national outbreak 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.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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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