IDPH says no meningitis deaths in Illinois linked to outbreak

By WEEK Producer

IDPH says no meningitis deaths in Illinois linked to outbreak

October 5, 2012 Updated Oct 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois health officials say so far, there have been no confirmed deaths in the state due to the recent meningitis outbreak across the nation. 

The outbreak is associated with the use of epidural steroid injection pain medication.  However, an investigation is ongoing concerning 35 cases in six states, including five deaths, have been linked to this meningitis outbreak. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation has found possible fungal contamination of a widely-distributed epidural steroid injection medication called methlprednisolone acetate. 

“If you have any concerns about your health after receiving an epidural steroid injection since July, and do not know which product was used, call the physician who performed your procedure,” said Dr. Hasbrouck of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “The [IDPH] has alerted physicians and health practitioners around the state about the meningitis cases associated with epidural steroid injections and the need to stop using the recalled product. This medication is typically used to relieve chronic pain for conditions such as herniated disks and spine inflammation.”

Patients who received a spinal injection containing the recalled medication could experience the following symptoms - fever, new symptoms of headache or worsening headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, or symptoms suggestive of a stroke. 
 
If you have received the recalled product and develop any of the above symptoms, contact your physician as soon as possible.  Those who have become ill did so between one and four weeks after receiving the epidural steroid injection. 
 
For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html.

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