Tristate medical offices potentially linked to meningitis scare - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Tristate medical offices potentially linked to meningitis scare identified

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the names of medical facilities across the country -- including seven in New Jersey, three in New York, and one in Connecticut -- that received batches of a steroid linked to a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.

The steroid was given to potentially hundreds of patients in the tristate, but so far officials have not identified any local residents who have contracted fungal meningitis.

These are the facilities that received shipments of the recalled drug:

New Jersey

  • Central Jersey Orthopedics Specialists in South Plainfield
  • Edison Surgical Center in Edison
  • IF Pain Associates/Isaiah Florence in Teaneck
  • Premier Orthopedics Surgical Associates in Vineland
  • South Jersey Healthcare in Elmer
  • South Jersey Healthcare in Vineland
  • Richard Siegfried in Sparta

New Jersey officials said about 1,000 patients were injected with the drug, but no illnesses have been reported.

New York

  • Dr. Sunil Butani in Mineola
  • Obosa Medical Services in Mount Vernon
  • Rochester Brain and Spine in Rochester

New York health officials said the number of patients who received the steroid is not clear.

Connecticut

  • Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine in Middlebury

Connecticut officials said 39 patients were injected and have been contacted.

Last week, New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts issued a recall of three lots of the steroid, called methylprednisolone acetate. In a statement, the company said it had voluntarily suspended operations and was working with regulators to identify the source of the infection.

More than two dozen people around the country, mostly in Tennessee, have been stricken with the rare form of meningitis. Five people have died.

Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges, according to the CDC. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

The FDA has warned doctors to not administer any products from this company after tests found contamination in a sealed vial.

FROM THE CDC: SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Meningitis infection is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. It is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Altered mental status

Symptoms of fungal meningitis are similar to symptoms of other forms of meningitis; however, they often appear more gradually. In addition to typical meningitis symptoms, like headache, fever, nausea, and stiffness of the neck, people with fungal meningitis may also experience:

  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Changes in mental status, confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Personality changes

With AP reports.

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