Blog: No contaminated steroid product in Arizona

2012-10-10T12:00:00Z Blog: No contaminated steroid product in ArizonaStephanie Innes ARIZONA DAILY STAR Arizona Daily Star
October 10, 2012 12:00 pm  • 

The director of the state's health department says it appears that no shipments of a product linked to a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis made it to Arizona.

"The records suggest that the steroid wasn’t shipped to Arizona, but we’re working with the county health departments to make sure that clinicians are on the lookout for symptoms in case the sales records aren’t correct," Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble wrote in his blog.

No Tucson area hospitals have reported any cases of the fungal meningitis, which has arisen in patients who received a recent steroid injection to relieve back pain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 137 cases in 10 states. Arizona is not one of the states. So far the death toll is 12.

Officials say some shipments of the steroid "preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (80mg/ml)" were contaminated with a fungus called Aspergillus fumigatus.

The only manufacturer implicated in the outbreak is the New England Compounding Center. Fungal meningitis is not contagious.

The CDC has a webpage about the investigation — http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/outbreaks/meningitis.html — including recommendations for clinicians and the public.

The product was prepared by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

Symptoms seem to start 1 to 4 weeks after the injection and include fever, a worsening headache, nausea, and neurological deficit (like a stroke).Not all patients who received the contaminated medicine will get sick.

 

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About this blog

Arizona Daily Star health reporter Stephanie Innes brings you the latest health information. Contact her at sinnes@tucson.com

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