2012-10-11 / Community

Meningitis outbreak continues, claims 3

State has 25 cases, agencies investigate

LANSING – Michigan is include in a multi-state investigation of cases of fungal meningitis and strokes among patients who received epidural steroid injections after July 1. The state currently has 25 confirmed cases of meningitis associated with this outbreak, including three deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and state health departments, including the Michigan Department of Community are among the investigating agencies.

The number of cases is expected to increase as investigation continues. As of Oct. 9, 119 cases and 11 deaths have been reported from 10 states.

The age range of current identified Michigan cases is 46-89 years old. Of the three deaths, all were females ages 56, 67, and 78.

Fungal meningitis is not transmitted person-to-person. Infected patients have presented approximately one to four weeks following 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.

A potentially contaminated product is suspected to be the cause of the outbreak. Interim data show that infected patients received injection with preservativefree methylprednisolone acetate (80mg/ml) prepared by the New England Compounding Center, located in Framingham, Mass. On Sept. 25, the NECC recalled three lots of product associated with known cases of fungal meningitis:

•Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #05212012@68, BUD 11/17/2012

•Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #06292012@26, BUD 12/26/2012

•Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #08102012@51, BUD 2/6/2013

Four Michigan facilities received shipments of these recalled lots and are working with MDCH 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

On Oct. 3, the NECC ceased all production and initiated a recall of all methylprednisolone acetate and other drug products prepared for injection into the membrane surrounding the brain or spinal cord.

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.

Visit www.michigan.gov/ emergingdiseases for more information.

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