We’ve updated numbers from the CDC this afternoon on the cases of meningitis across the country linked to potentially contaminated injectable steroids, along with an updated Q&A sheet for patients and revised case definitions for clinicians.
While the numbers continue to climb, it is important to note that this type of meningitis is not contagious. All of these cases received an epidural injection from a potentially contaminated steroid.
I’ve only excerpted the opening of the FAQ page for Patients below, follow the link to read it in its entirety.
October 10, 2012 12:45 PM EDT
About the Outbreak
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are currently coordinating a multistate investigation of fungal meningitis among patients who received an epidural steroid injection with a potentially contaminated product. Several of these patients also suffered strokes that are believed to have resulted from their infection.
Is the source of the outbreak known?
CDC is investigating medications and products that are associated with this outbreak of meningitis. At this point, the original source of the outbreak has not been determined. However, injectable steroid medication has been linked to the outbreak. The lots of medication that were given to patients have been recalled by the manufacturer.
The type of epidural medication given to patients affected by this outbreak is not the same type of medication as that given to women during childbirth.
Of interest primarily to clinicians, here is a link to the updated case definitions.
And finally, a report from Maggie Fox of NBC News on the growing controversies surrounding compounding pharmacies.
By Maggie Fox, NBC News
A single compounding pharmacy, one that mixes up drugs to order, appears to be the source of contamination that has killed 12 people and made more than 100 sick with a rare form of fungal meningitis. Some consumer advocates want the Food and Drug Administration to crack down harder on such pharmacies, but the legal battle for regulate them has been long and convoluted.