U.S. Meningitis Outbreak Grows Deadlier
The U.S. Center for Disease Control announced that as of October 4, 2012, a total of 35 cases in six states have been identified with possible fungal meningitis infections from epidural steroid injections. At least five deaths have been reported. The fungus has been identified in specimens obtained from a total of five patients so far.
October 8, 2012 Update: Meningitis Outbreak 2012 Up To 105 Cases
The CDC says that while investigation into the exact source of these infections is ongoing, all infected patients received preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate from among the three lots voluntarily recalled by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts, on September 25, 2012.
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 our new symptoms consistent with a stroke. Some of these patients symptoms were very mild in nature.
The CDC says that cerebrospinal fluid obtained from these patients has shown findings consistent with meningitis. It is important to note that this type of meningitis is not transmissible from person-to-person.
Patients may be experiencing mild symptoms, not typical of meningitis. Such as new or worsening headache without fever or neck stiffness. The CDC warns that if patients are having new or worsening symptoms, even mild symptoms, they should be evaluated immediately.
While the CDC is only aware of infections occurring in patients who have received epidural steroid injections, the CDC advises that patients who received other type of injections of methylprednisolone acetate from those three lots should be tested from signs of infection such as swelling, increasing pain, redness and warmth at the injection site and should be encouraged to seek evaluation if such symptoms exist
There are the 23 States that received preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate among the three recalled lots: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, and West Virginia.