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CDC Responds to Meningitis Outbreak

November 8, 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with state and local health departments and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) , is investigating a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections among patients who received contaminated preservative-free MPA steroid injections from NECC. Several patients suffered strokes that are believed to have resulted from their infections. The investigation also includes other infections from injections in a peripheral joint, such as a knee, shoulder, or ankle. Patients who received injections in peripheral joints only are not believed to be at risk for meningitis, but they could be at risk for joint and other infections.
CDC has recently become aware of reports of spinal epidural abscess and arachnoiditis among a number of patients undergoing treatment for fungal meningitis associated with the outbreak. Both conditions are rare but serious disorders in the general population that require prompt medical attention. Most of these early reports have been about patients in Michigan and Tennessee, but other states have reported patients with these conditions as well. Additional information is found in the Clinician FAQ’s. CDC is working with clinicians and public health officials to obtain more information and refine its clinical guidance as needed.
CDC and public health officials are referring any patients who have symptoms that suggest possible infections to their physicians, who can evaluate them further.
Information about the investigation and guidance for clinicians, including interim treatment guidelines, is available at www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html. CDC recommendations are subject to change as more information becomes available.

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