Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Causes Five Deaths
Health officials are tracking down individuals who have been treated with a routine steroid injection to relieve lower back pain, which is now related to an outbreak of rare fungal meningitis. Hundreds – maybe even thousands – of people who got the shots between July and September could be at risk, NBC News reported.
More About the Meningitis Outbreak
- 47 people have been diagnosed with the infection in seven states, news outlets reported.
- Five people have died.
- The 47 cases include 29 from Tennessee, one from North Carolina, two in Florida, six in Virginia, two in Maryland, three in Indiana, and four in MIchigan.
- About 75 clinics in 23 states received batches of the steroid drug from a pharmacy in Massachusetts, and were informed to notify all affected patients.
- The FDA has warned health care workers not to use any drugs from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., which has voluntarily ceased distribution of all of its products, ABC News reported.
- FDA officials detected fungal infectivity in an unopened vial of methylprednisolone from one of three lots of 80-milligram injection doses recalled by the New England Compounding Center.
- If patients begin suitable antifungal therapy soon enough, some reactions may be avoided.
What are Meningitis Symptoms?
Patients have shown signs of illness about one to four weeks after receiving their injection with multiple symptoms including fever, new or worsening headache, nausea and symptoms consistent with a stroke. Some symptoms are mild and some patients have shown findings consistent with meningitis.
Anyone experiencing these symptoms who has received this injection should contact a doctor immediately.
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