Published On: Fri, Nov 23rd, 2012

Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak nears 500 cases

The nationwide fungal meningitis and other infections linked  to the use of injectable steroids from the New England Compounding Center (NECC) grows nearer to 500 cases, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update Monday.

Photomicrograph showing fine branching tubes of Exserohilum rostratum/ CDC

As of Nov. 19, there were 490 cases of meningitis and joint infections related to the tainted steroid reported in 19 states. Of this number, there were 34 deaths.

Michigan reports the most cases at 164, followed by Tennessee (82), Indiana (55) and Virginia (50).

According to the case definition for this outbreak investigation, a person who is considered a probable case if he or she received a preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) injection, with preservative-free MPA that definitely or likely came from one of the following three lots produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) [05212012@68, 06292012@26, 08102012@51], and subsequently developed any of the following:

  • Meningitis of unknown etiology following epidural or paraspinal injection after May 21, 2012;
  • Posterior circulation stroke without a cardioembolic source and without documentation of a normal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) profile, following epidural or paraspinal injection after May 21, 2012;
  • Osteomyelitis, abscess or other infection (e.g., soft tissue infection) of unknown etiology, in the spinal or paraspinal structures at or near the site of injection following epidural or paraspinal injection2 after May 21, 2012; or
  • Osteomyelitis or worsening inflammatory arthritis of a peripheral joint (e.g., knee, shoulder, or ankle) of unknown etiology diagnosed following joint injection after May 21, 2012.
A confirmed case is a probable case with evidence (by culture, histopathology, or molecular assay) of a fungal pathogen associated with the clinical syndrome.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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