NEW INFO: Ohio Illnesses in Meningitis Outbreak Rise to 19

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 12/4/12 @ 11:55 a.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Health officials say a 58-year-old Morrow County woman's fungal meningitis is the 19th case in Ohio linked to a larger outbreak and recalled steroid injections for back pain.

The state health department reported the latest case Tuesday.

It's the second case in central Ohio's Morrow County. Other Ohio cases have been reported in Clermont, Crawford, Fairfield, Franklin, Hamilton, Marion, Union and Warren counties, as well as a Kentucky woman who got an injection in Ohio. All are adults and none have died.

Officials previously removed one woman from the list because the case no longer met the federal definition of this type of meningitis.

Federal officials report more than 500 illnesses and 36 deaths in the outbreak linked to a specialty pharmacy that recalled its products.



UPDATE 11/16/12 @ 11:45 a.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Health officials say a Fairfield County woman's fungal meningitis case marks Ohio's 17th illness linked to a larger outbreak and recalled steroid injections for back pain.

The other cases are tied to Clermont, Crawford, Franklin, Hamilton, Marion, Morrow, Union and Warren counties and a Kentucky woman who got an injection in Ohio. They involve adults, and none have died.

Officials previously removed one woman from the list because the case no longer met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition of this type of meningitis.

Federal officials report more than 430 illnesses and 32 deaths in the outbreak linked to a specialty pharmacy that recalled its products.

Officials say dozens of Ohio facilities received the pharmacy's products. Four clinics in Ohio got the potentially contaminated steroids.



UPDATE 10/17/12 @ 11 a.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The Ohio Department of Health has released a list of 64 Ohio facilities that received products from the company at the center of a nationwide meningitis outbreak.

The list includes any provider who bought a New England Compounding Center product since May 21, 2012, even topical products, which the FDA has indicated are low, or no-risk products. On the list is Holzer Clinic in Gallipolis and two facilities in Portsmouth -- Eye Specialists of Ohio and Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Eye Specialists of Ohio said they did not receive or use any of the medication that was recalled, and that all of their medications are safe. "The Eye Specialists of Ohio wants to assure all their
patients that we have never purchased or used the tainted steroid linked to the Meningitis out break," the health-care facility said in a statement.

Southern Ohio Medical Center also released a statement assuring all of its patients that they have never used the recalled products for epidural injections, and that they have taken the precaution of removing all other New England Compounding Center solution even before the FDA recall.

According to a release from Holzer Health System, medication that was purchased by Holzer Health System from the New England Compounding Center is part of the recent recall.

The medication is administered by the PARS physician group, and was used in the Athens Ambulatory Surgery Center for spinal injections only. According to the release, Holzer physicians do not use that particular brand of medication.

According to the release, the recalled medication impacting Holzer Health System was added to the original drug recall as a safety measure and to date there have been no cases attributed to contamination of this medication.

Southern Ohio Medical Center also said the FDA recall includes solutions used during certain heart surgery procedures. SOMC cardiac surgeons are currently in the process of contacting all patients who may be impacted by this recall to personally answer their questions.

Any SOMC patients in need of additional information are encouraged to contact our Patient Relations department at 740-356-8216.

Health officials say they are working to get in contact with anyone who may have been affected.

So far, the outbreak has left 15 people dead and more than 200 sick across the country.



UPDATE 10/10/12 @ 5:50 p.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The state has suspended the Ohio distribution license of a Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that has sickened more than 130 people in 10 states, including one person in Ohio. Twelve have died.

The New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., made a steroid used in contaminated injections tied to the outbreak.

The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy's director says the board on Tuesday suspended the pharmacy's license to distribute in Ohio after seeing evidence that its professional practice presented a danger of immediate and serious harm to others.

The pharmacy's public relations firm didn't immediately return a call.

State health officials on Wednesday revised the number of Ohio patients who received potentially contaminated injections from 430 to 424. The Ohio health department says 410 have been contacted.



UPDATE 10/4/12 @ 5:20 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The head of the state Bureau for Public Health says one West Virginia clinic received a steroid medication suspected in an outbreak of a rare form of meningitis.

Dr. Marian Swinker didn't immediately identify the clinic Thursday.

Swinker said her office's epidemiology staff is closely monitoring the situation with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She says the CDC has contacted the clinic and that patients who may have received the medication are being contacted.

Swinker said West Virginia has no reported cases from the outbreak in five other states that has sickened at least 26 people, including four deaths. The drug was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts that issued a recall last week and has shut down operations.



UPDATE
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Health officials say Ohio received shipments of the type of steroid suspected in a deadly outbreak of meningitis, but no cases of that illness have been reported in the state.

A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health says it has notified local health departments, which are supposed to alert clinics that received the steroid so they can pass on the warning to any patients who may be affected.

Federal officials say investigators this week found contamination in a sealed vial of the steroid at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

Tests are under way to determine if it is the same fungus blamed in the outbreak that has sickened 35 people in six states. Five of them have died. All received steroid shots for back pain.



UPDATE
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Officials at an Evansville hospital say about 560 patients received injections of a recalled back pain medication that's been tied to an outbreak of a rare form of meningitis.

St. Mary's Health spokeswoman Laura Forbes says 10 of the roughly 250 of those patients the hospital has contacted so far are experiencing symptoms that could be consistent with fungal meningitis.

Forbes says the hospital is taking the situation "very seriously" and is trying to contact the remaining patients.

She says the patients received the spinal injections of the steroid made by Framingham, Mass.-based New England Compounding Center between July 1 and Sept. 28 at Surgicare Cross Pointe, an outpatient surgery clinic in Evansville.

Forbes says between 50 and 60 of the 560 patients had received multiple injections of the drug.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The head of the state Bureau for Public Health says one West Virginia clinic received a steroid medication suspected in an outbreak of a rare form of meningitis.

Dr. Marian Swinker didn't immediately identify the clinic Thursday.

Swinker said her office's epidemiology staff is closely monitoring the situation with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She says the CDC has contacted the clinic and that patients who may have received the medication are being contacted.

Swinker said West Virginia has no reported cases from the outbreak that has killed four people and sickened at least two dozen more in five other states. The drug was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts that issued a recall last week and has shut down operations.


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