Michigan fungal meningitis cases rise by 3 to 28 - WNEM TV 5

Michigan fungal meningitis cases rise by 3 to 28

Posted: Updated:
GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM/AP) -

The federal government says Michigan cases in a meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated medication have risen by three to 28.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted new numbers on its website Wednesday. Michigan has 28 cases, including three previously reported deaths.

Rare fungal meningitis has been linked to contaminated steroids injected into people with back pain. The medication was made by a Massachusetts pharmacy and shipped to four Michigan clinics.

There have been at least 12 deaths from the national outbreak.

The Michigan residents who died were a 67-year-old woman from Livingston County, a 78-year-old woman from Washtenaw County and a 56-year-old woman from Genesee County.

The four Michigan facilities that received shipments of these recalled lots are working with MDCH to notify patients who may have received this product between May and October and may be at risk for developing the illness. The facilities are:  

  • Michigan Neurosurgical Institutes in Grand Blanc
  • Michigan Pain Specialists in Brighton
  • Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation in Traverse City
  • Southeast Michigan Surgical Hospital in Warren

The number of cases is expected to increase. The age range of current identified patients is 46 to 89 years old.

These fungal infections are not transmitted person to person. Infected patients have become ill approximately one to four weeks following their injection with a variety of symptoms.

Patients who received epidural injections have presented with symptoms including fever, new or worsening headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light and/or a new neurological deficit such as weakness or numbness, consistent with deep brain stroke.

Those receiving joint injections may present with increasing pain, redness or swelling at injection site. Some patients' symptoms were very mild in nature.

Any individual who received a steroid injection at one of the four Michigan facilities and is experiencing the symptoms described above should immediately contact their physician or seek medical attention.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts company run by the same executives who operated a specialty pharmacy linked to the fatal meningitis outbreak has agreed to temporarily shut down for inspection by state and federal regulators.

Ameridose is located in Westborough, Mass. The New England Compounding Center, which produced a steroid linked to the outbreak, is in Framingham. Both firms are run by Barry Cadden and Greg Conigliaro.

Ameridose provides sterile medication in prefilled oral syringes to about 3,000 hospitals nationwide. It opened its doors in 2006, eight years after NECC opened.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says Ameridose agreed to the shutdown until inspections by state regulators and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are completed.

There is no recall of Ameridose products.

The outbreak has sickened 137 people in 10 states. Twelve have died.

Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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