As of Monday, 105 people in nine states were diagnosed with the non-contagious brain infection meningitis; eight have died. Across the United States about 13,000 patients may have been exposed to batches of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate that are suspected of being linked to the outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said. The suspected medication is used in pain management clinics and given to patients as spinal injections.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer; "A rare type of meningitis was found in people who received epidural injections of the company's steroid medication. Federal health officials suspect that the medication was tainted with fungus but they say the original source of contamination had not been found."
The medication was distributed to about 75 facilities in 23 states. The list includes Ohio and Indiana. But as of Monday, no cases of the potentially deadly illness have turned up in Ohio, even though supplies of a medication suspected as the culprit had been shipped here, Cincinnati officials said.
Ohio health officials are busy searching for patients of certain pain management clinics that may have been exposed. They are calling and knocking on doors to locate each one. Sending some to ER's to be evaluated and finding that most are not symptomatic. However to be on the safe side authorities advise people to seek medical attention if they have received epidural steroid injections after May 21 and suffer from symptoms such as pain at the injection site, worsening headache, fever, stiff neck, discomfort around bright lights, unusual weakness, numbness or slurred speech.
Thankfully the infection is not contagious.
Do you or anyone you know receive back injections for pain? Had you heard of this outbreak before now?
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