Meningitis-linked steroid may have affected 13,000
By The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, 7:06 p.m.
NEW YORK — As many as 13,000 people received steroid shots suspected in a national meningitis outbreak, health officials said on Monday. But it's not clear how many are in danger.
Officials don't how many of the shots may have been contaminated with meningitis-causing fungus. And the figure includes not only those who got them in the back for pain — who are most at risk — but those who got the shots in other places, such as knees and shoulders.
There was no breakdown on the number of back injections, said Curtis Allen, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those injected in joints are not believed to be at risk for meningitis, he said.
The number of people sickened in the outbreak reached 105 on Monday. Deaths rose to eight, with a fatality in Tennessee, the CDC said. Tennessee has the most cases, followed by Michigan, Virginia, Indiana, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio.
Investigators suspect a steroid medication made by a specialty pharmacy may be to blame. About 17,700 single-dose vials of the steroid were sent to 23 states. Inspectors found at least one sealed vial contaminated with fungus, and tests were being done on other vials.
The first known case of the rarely seen fungal meningitis was diagnosed last month in Tennessee.
The steroid maker, New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., recalled the drug, and during the weekend recalled everything else it makes.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and a back injection would put any contaminant in more direct contact with that lining.
A Michigan man whose wife's death was linked to the outbreak said on Monday that he, too, was treated with steroids from one of the recalled batches.
“Not only have I lost my wife, but I'm watching the clock to see if anything develops,” George Cary said, as friends and family gathered for his wife's wake in Howell, 60 miles northwest of Detroit.
His wife, Lilian, 67, had been ill since late August, but meningitis wasn't detected until Sept. 22, her husband said. She died on Sept. 30.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama hams it up for health care on Funny or Die
- Changes to Medicare drug coverage scrapped
- Senate OKs bill scrapping ‘good soldier defense’
- Deaths from heroin, pain pills called ‘urgent,’ growing’ crisis
- General’s court-martial is thrown into jeopardy
- Lanza’s father says he wishes son was never born
- Poll: Uninsured rate drops, but Hispanics lag in sign-ups
- Fannie, Freddie profits surprise
- Elephants attuned to human voices
- White House advises teaching students about money
- Snowden captivates tech crowd