Two Tri-State men have fungal meningitis after receiving tainted steroid injections.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has linked additional cases of meningitis to steroid injections produced at New England Compounding Center. This brings the total number of cases to nine in Ohio: a 52-year-old man from Warren County, a 65-year-old man from Hamilton County; a 39-year-old female from Morrow County; and a 40-year-old female from Crawford County, five cases in Marion County.
The Cincinnati Eye Institute on Clifton Ave. and CEI Drive received NECC medications along with Cincinnati Pain Management, Eye Services, LLC, Greater Cincinnati Pain Management, Medical Weight Management Center, Physicians Health Source, Inc., Professional Radiology, SW Ohio ASC, The Christ Hospital Spine Surgery Center and Western Hills Interventional Pain. Through aggressive outreach, 419 patients have been reached and advised to monitor closely for a change in symptoms. Outreach to remaining patients is ongoing.
"This outreach and contact with healthcare providers needs to continue even if the patient is feeling well during the initial conversation," said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, Director of ODH. "Because of the rare nature of this infection, no one is sure of the incubation period; we don't know how long after an injection it is safe to say you won't get sick."
The medication at the center of the recall is a widely-distributed steroid medication used to treat back pain and is administered by injection.
Certain lots of the medication provided by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass. may be contaminated with a fungus that has led to some patients to develop a rare form of fungal meningitis (brain infection) and stroke.
On October 3, 2012, the company ceased all production and initiated recall of all methylprednisolone acetate (a steroid medication) and other drug products prepared for injections in and around the spinal cord (known as intrathecal administration).