One new report of fungal meningitis in Elkhart County
Posted: 11/15/2012 at 12:00 pm
By: Marlys Weaver-Stoesz
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FILE- This undated file image made available by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the Exserohilum rostratum fungus. Exserohilum, a kind of black mold, is the primary cause of a number of fungal meningitis cases afflicting people who got steroid back injections for pain. There are numerous ways a fungus might contaminate medications being made in a lab. (AP Photo/The Centers for Disease Control, File)
Along with those residents, local health care centers are also caring for additional cases from out of the county, he said.
The 30 cases represent an increase of one among Elkhart County residents, according to Nafziger. Earlier reports of 32 Elkhart County cases also counted patients receiving treatment here who were from other counties.
A multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis occurred after patients received tainted steroid injections manufactured at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OSMC Outpatient Surgery Center in Elkhart was one of six clinics in the state that received batches of the contaminated medications from the New England Compounding Center.
So far, there have been 53 reported cases and four deaths after patients received the tainted injection in Indiana, according to the CDC. Nationally, there are 461 reported cases and 32 deaths from the infection.
Nafziger said that at the national level “the good news is that it seems like the case numbers are slowing down.” He said, though, that some patients who were diagnosed early with fungal meningitis are now dealing with other serious complications from the injections.
OSMC contacted close to 400 patients in early October after medications were recalled. Common symptoms of fungal meningitis include headaches, fever, sensitivity to light, neck stiffness and increased pain, redness or swelling at the injection site. Symptoms typically appear one to four weeks following an injection.