Navigation Links
Meningitis/Steroid Toll Now 34 Dead
Date:11/20/2012

By Steven Reinberg and Margaret Steele
HealthDay Reporters

TUESDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The ongoing meningitis outbreak tied to tainted steroid injections has reached 490 cases, and another person has died, bringing the total fatalities to 34, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.

The contaminated injections have been traced to a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts, the New England Compounding Center, which ceased operations after the start of the outbreak early last month.

Compounding pharmacies combine, mix or alter ingredients to create drugs to meet the specific needs of individual patients. Such custom-made drugs may include a smaller dose, for example, or the removal of an ingredient that might trigger an allergy in a patient, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

These specialty pharmacies aren't subject to the same FDA oversight as regular drug manufacturers. Some members of Congress are calling for greater FDA regulation of these businesses.

The owner of the New England Compounding Center refused last Wednesday to testify before a House of Representatives committee investigating the steroid/meningitis outbreak.

After a series of questions from members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Barry Cadden, co-founder of the New England Compounding Center, said: "Under advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer under basis of my constitutional rights and privileges, including the Fifth Amendment," the Associated Press reported.

Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The steroid injections were used on patients complaining of back or joint pain.

Last month, FDA investigators who toured the New England Compounding Center's Framingham plant found foreign, "greenish-black" material in some vials of the injectable steroid suspected as the cause of the illnesses, federal health officials said. The contaminated product was one of a host of potential violations discovered during the recent inspection, the officials said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday had the following state-by-state breakdown of cases: Florida: 24 cases, including 3 deaths; Georgia, 1 case; Idaho, 1 case; Illinois, 2 cases; Indiana: 55 cases, including 5 deaths; Maryland: 23 cases, including 1 death; Michigan: 164 cases, including 9 deaths; Minnesota: 13 cases; New Hampshire: 13 cases; New Jersey: 33 cases; New York: 1 case; North Carolina: 3 cases, including 1 death; Ohio: 18 cases; Pennsylvania: 1 case; Rhode Island: 3 cases; South Carolina: 1 case; Tennessee: 82 cases, including 13 deaths; Texas: 2 cases; Virginia: 50 cases, including 2 deaths.

Twelve of the 490 cases involve what the CDC calls "peripheral joint infection," meaning an infection in a knee, hip, shoulder or elbow. These joint infections aren't considered as dangerous as injections near the spine for back pain that have been linked to the potentially fatal meningitis infections.

The CDC and state health departments estimate that roughly 14,000 patients may have gotten steroid injections from the New England Compounding Center. All of the fungal meningitis patients identified so far were thought to be injected with the steroid methylprednisolone acetate, according to the CDC.

People who have had a steroid injection since July, and have any of the following symptoms, should talk to their doctor as soon as possible: worsening headache, fever, sensitivity to light, stiff neck, new weakness or numbness in any part of your body or slurred speech, the CDC said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about injections for back pain.

SOURCES: Nov. 19, 2012, updated statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Associated Press


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Meningitis/Steroid Toll Now 34 Dead
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Miami Dental Specialists is excited to ... Miami dental office. Beginning in January, Miami Dental Specialists will offer the non-metal implants ... the first office to be chosen by the dental implant manufacturer, Straumann, to bring ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Nearly every health website and ... These articles generally list between five and 15 foods that should be consumed ... one of these lists and believes that nutritious eye healthy foods are extremely ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... A lot has ... 35 years. A president has access to health and wellness resources most Americans could ... world, no single individual has a schedule as frenetic as the U.S. President. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of ... he says are the real facts surrounding all those Bible stories. For generations families ... school teachers, and Yisrayl says there is more to these than just mere “stories”. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Dignity Health named Dr. Scott Bingham the Facility Medical Director ... facility is licensed under Dignity Health Arizona General Hospital , which opened last ... will ensure our new freestanding emergency room delivers the highest quality care to Mesa ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016  Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... a $47.1 million Series D preferred stock ... Management, Hillhouse Capital Group and venBio Global ... Investments, AJU IB Investment, and Epidarex Capital. The ... to further advance clinical trials in the ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016 Stem cells are primitive cells found ... and the capacity to differentiate into mature cell types ... the first mouse embryonic stem cells were derived from ... that the first culturing of embryonic stem cells from ... produced until 2006 As a result of these discoveries, ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced ... jobs throughout Western New York . ... SUNY Polytechnic Institute, includes a major expansion of Athenex,s ... Buffalo , as well as the creation ... Dunkirk . The combined projects are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: