While not commanding the headlines that it did six months ago, the health impacts from last summer’s contaminated injectable steroids continue (see MMWR: Multistate Outbreak Of Fungal Meningitis).
Since the recall was announced in late September, we’ve learned of more than 50 deaths, nearly 700 still battling infections, with thousands more exposed and potentially still vulnerable to infection.
CDC continues to receive reports of patients presenting with paraspinal/spinal infections (e.g., epidural abscess, phlegmon, discitis, vertebral osteomyelitis, or arachnoiditis at or near the site of injection). These syndromes have occurred in patients with and without evidence of fungal meningitis.
Because these infections are distinct from meningitis and joint infections, CDC will report case counts, as below, to better describe types of infections being identified in patients exposed to a preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) injection, with preservative-free MPA that definitely or likely came from one of the following three lots produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) [05212012@68, 06292012@26, 08102012@51].
The infographic below provides a good overview of the outbreak.