OHIO VALLEY — West Virginia and Ohio are two of 23 states affected by the recalled steroid injections which have caused an outbreak of a rare form of fungal meningits.
The Centers for Disease Control is reporting nearly 13,000 people in these 23 states may’ve received the injections which, as of press time, had killed eight people. However, of those 13,000 people, the CDC said much fewer are likely to contract the rare form of meningitis. The CDC also reports, 105 cases of this fungal meningitis have been confirmed in nine states, with one case reported in Ohio and none reported in West Virginia. The Ohio Department of Health was not releasing the county of residence of the patient to protect their identity but did disclose this patient was a 65-year old man.
On Monday, Holzer Health System released a statement on the recall to Ohio Valley Publishing via Communications Coordinator Karrie Swain Davidson - “Holzer Health System is taking all precautionary measures to ensure patient safety and confidentiality. We are researching the information made available regarding recent recalls, and cross checking the details with what is involved with our health system. We will continue to evaluate the situation and provide updated information to our patients as needed.”
Pleasant Valley Hospital was also contacted about how, or if, the recall had affected any of their patients or facility with Director of Marketing and Community Relations Tracy Call saying the hospital would release its statement on Tuesday. Family Healthcare, which operates a healthcare facility in Meigs County, Ohio, was also contacted for this article though a call was not returned by press time.
Neither PVH, nor Holzer Health System, nor Family Healthcare are listed by the CDC as healthcare facilities which received lots of the tainted steroid injections which were manufactured in Framingham, Mass. According to the CDC the following healthcare facilities in Ohio and West Virginia which received those tainted injections are: BKC Pain Specialists, LLC, of Marion, Ohio; Cincinnati Pain Management of Cincinnati, Ohio; Marion Pain Clinic of Marion; Ortho Spine Rehab Center, Inc., of Dublin, Ohio; PARS Interventional Pain of Parkersburg, W.Va.
According to the CDC, fungal meningitis is rare and usually the result of spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord. Although anyone can get fungal meningitis, people with weak immune systems, like those with AIDS or cancer, are at higher risk. Fungal meningitis is not contagious, which means it is not transmitted from person to person. Fungal meningitis can develop after a fungus spreads through the bloodstream from somewhere else in the body, as a result of the fungus being introduced directly into the central nervous system, or from an infected body site infection next to the central nervous system.
Signs and symptoms of fungal meningitis may include the following: Fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, photophobia (sensitivity to light), altered mental status.
Fungal meningitis is treated with long courses of high dose antifungal medications, usually given through an IV line in the hospital.