Friday, October 12, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak: 75 facilities affected

NPR has reported that 75 medical facilities received a potentially contaminated drug suspected of infecting 47 patients with meningitis nationwide. A list of those facilities can be found here.
The hospitals and clinics that have used the possibly tainted steroid are located in 23 states, from New Hampshire to California and Idaho to Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the facility names and phone numbers so that patients who have had spinal injections at these facilities will know if they're at risk for a rare and dangerous kind of meningitis.
The number of meningitis cases went up by 12 last Friday, October 5th, but the number of deaths remained stable at five. The CDC says all 42 known survivors are still hospitalized, and officials expect more cases to emerge over the coming weeks.
The CDC urges patients who have received steroid injections in the past month to seek immediate care if they have headaches, fever, nausea, dizziness, slurred speech or confusion. Many who have received the potentially contaminated drug have escaped harm, however, and others have had only mild symptoms.
Close to 18,000 doses of the drug, methylprednisolone acetate, have been recalled by the Massachusetts pharmacy that made it. The drug is used to treat back pain.
NPR’s article can be found here.

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