More Bad News For Low Back Pain Sufferers:
SOURCE: Associated Press ~ Oct 4, 2012
By MIKE STOBBE
Medication Linked to Meningitis Deaths May Have Reached 23 States
The potential scope of the meningitis outbreak that has killed at least five people widened dramatically Thursday as health officials warned that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of patients who got steroid back injections in 23 states could be at risk.
UPDATE: October 09, 2012: The number of identified cases has reached 119, with 11 deaths in 10 different states.
UPDATE: October 11, 2012: The number of identified cases has reached 170, with 14 deaths in 11 different states.
UPDATE: October 12, 2012: from MedScape The number of people exposed to potentially contaminated methylprednisolone acetate produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts, is closer to 14,000 — not 13,000 — as originally reported on October 8, federal health officials said today.
“These 14,000 patients received the medication as a steroid injection either into the spinal area or into a joint space such as a knee, shoulder or ankle,” said J. Todd Weber, MD, incident manager of the multistate meningitis outbreak at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 12,000 of these people have been contacted to date, he said.
As of today, the CDC said a total of 170 cases (including the 14 deaths) have been reported across 11 states: Florida (7 cases, 2 deaths), Idaho (1 case), Indiana (21 cases, 1 death), Maryland (13 cases, 1 death), Michigan (39 cases, 3 deaths), Minnesota (3 cases), New Jersey (2 cases), North Carolina (2 cases), Ohio (3 cases), Tennessee (49 cases, 6 deaths), and Virginia (30 cases, 1 death).
UPDATE: October 25, 2012: from MedScape There are currently 328 reported cases of fungal infection, with 24 deaths now reported in 18 states. This includes 5 peripheral joint infections.
UPDATE: November 27, 2012: from Fox News There are currently 510 reported cases of fungal infection, with 36 deaths now reported in 19 states, and another 14 cases of peripheral joint infection reported.
NEW YORK (AP) — The potential scope of the meningitis outbreak that has killed at least five people widened dramatically Thursday as health officials warned that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of patients who got steroid back injections in 23 states could be at risk.
Clinics and medical centers rushed to contact patients who may have received the apparently fungus-contaminated shots. And the Food and Drug Administration urged doctors not to use any products at all from the Massachusetts pharmacy that supplied the suspect steroid solution.
It is not clear how many patients received tainted injections, or even whether everyone who got one will get sick.
So far, 35 people in six states — Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana — have contracted fungal meningitis, and five of them have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All had received steroid shots for back pain, a highly common treatment.
This is especially disturbing, because