10 fungal meningitis cases confirmed in Florida

Published On: Oct 13 2012 04:26:49 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 15 2012 10:35:38 AM EDT


An outbreak of fungal meningitis has been linked to steroid shots for back pain. The medication, made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts, has been recalled.

Latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Illnesses: 205
  • Deaths: 15
  • States: 14; Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The number of fungal meningitis cases in Florida has risen to 10, the Florida Department of Health said earlier.

Officials confirmed that a case of fungal meningitis in Escambia County is associated with contaminated steroid injections from the New England Compounding Center.

Officials said a 47-year-old man who received treatment from Pain Consultants of West Florida in Pensacola was injected with one of the tainted shots.

Six facilities in Florida have received and used the contaminated injections. Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong said they do not anticipate "more patients will be affected" as the investigation continues.

The outbreak has prompted calls for tighter federal regulation of compounding pharmacies.

According to officials, the death of Christopher R. Valdes, an 18-year-old student in Miami-Dade County who was infected with meningitis, is not related to the fungal meningitis outbreak. In that case, the teenager died of bacterial meningitis, officials said.


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