Fungal Meningitis Linked to Epidural Steroid
Fungal meningitis has been in the news lately because of a surge in cases. These cases have been linked to an epidural steroid injection from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts that was contaminated. As of October 7, the outbreak stood at 91 and affected people from Minnesota to Ohio and beyond, according to the CDC.
The two cases in Minnesota involve two women in their 40s. They both have been hospitalized and are undergoing treatment. It is expected that there are additional cases in Minnesota because approximately 950 people have been injected with the contaminated drug.
Fungal meningitis is rare. In fact, it is the rarest of the different types of meningitis and can cause strokes because it causes an inflammation of the spinal cord and lining of the brain. It is not contagious. Those who have been infected have been said to have received the epidural steroid injection starting on May 1st. However, anyone who had received the contaminated injection would have become ill within a week of receiving it.
According to the CDC, it is believed that the fungus contaminated the medicine at some point during processing at the New England Compounding Center. The center then shipped the drug to 76 facilities.
By this point, all of the centers in the 23 affected states should have contacted anyone who had received the injection.
In addition, the New England Compounding Center has now recalled all of the injectable steroid. They had initially claimed three lots.
The CDC has warned that this type of epidural injection is not like the injection that pregnant women receive when they are delivering a baby. That type of injection is non-steroidal.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible: nausea, dizziness, severe headache, sensitivity to light, fever, numbness, weakness, and stiff neck.