500 Va. Residents Exposed to Deadly Meningitis
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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - The Virginia state epidemiologist says more than 500 people have now been contacted by two separate outpatient clinics that administered a batch of steroids contaminated by a potentially deadly form of meningitis.
A specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts has been attributed with delivering a large batch of the contaminated steroid shots – used to treat conditions such as allergies, arthritis, lupus and ulcerative colitis – to clinics all over the east coast.
The contaminated medication was used for spinal injections in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, and Virginia, with 35 cases of fungal meningitis having surfaced and multiple deaths being reported as a result.
Five people have died from infections stemming from the injections in total – one in Maryland and one in Virginia – with a reported 900 people having potentially received the injections across the five states in total.
The locations where the injections were made in Virginia have not been revealed, but state epidemiologist Dr. David Trump says two facilities in the southwestern region received the tainted product.
Seven facilities in Maryland that have potentially exposed patients to the contamination have been notified:
- Berlin Interventional Pain Management, Berlin, MD
- Box Hill Surgery Center, Abingdon, MD
- Greenspring Surgery Center, Baltimore, MD
- Harford County Ambulatory Surgery Center, Edgewood, MD
- Maryland Pain Specialists, Towson, MD
- SurgCenter of Bel Air, Bel Air, MD
- Zion Ambulatory Center, Baltimore, MD
All affected products have been recalled and are no longer in use.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns more new cases are almost certain to appear in the coming days.