Is Recalled Epidural Steroid Injection To Blame for Meningitis Outbreak?
There are no cases in New Jersey at this point, but the State Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and other states on a fungal meningitis outbreak among patients who received epidural steroid injections.
"New Jersey currently has no cases associated with this outbreak, but this is an ongoing investigation and the full scope of the affected patients and facilities is not yet known," said Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd. "Health Care facilities that received this medication have removed the product from inventory and are working to identify and notify all patients who might have received injections from the implicated lots."
"As the investigation continues, the number of affected patients and facilities could expand so any patient who has received an epidural steroid injection who has symptoms should reach out to their health care provider," she said.
Affected facilities are:
- Central Jersey Orthopedics Specialists, PC in South Plainfield
- Edison Surgical Center, Edison
- IF Pain Associates/Isaiah Florence, Teaneck
- Premier Orthopedics Surgical Assoc, LLC, Vineland
- Richard Siegfried, MD, Sparta
- South Jersey Healthcare, Elmer and Vineland
The Department of Health has been in touch with all of the facilities that received the product and requested that they reach out to all patients who received injections of methylprednisolone acetate.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS
Symptoms associated with the outbreak include fever, new or worsening headache, nausea and new neurological deficit consistent with deep brain stroke. Several patients also have suffered strokes. But, some of the patients' symptoms were very mild. Affected patients have presented approximately one to four weeks following their injection.
This particular form of fungal meningitis is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. The source of the fungus has not yet been identified. For additional information, go to the CDC's website at http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/outbreaks/meningitis.html.