Michigan Resident Suffers Stroke from Meningitis

Recently, a large outbreak of fungal meningitis has been diagnosed in many people around the country, with some diagnoses in Michigan. The meningitis has been linked back to three specific Methylprednisolone Acetate lots of injectable steroids that were manufactured at the Framingham, MA, and New England Compounding Center (NECC). These three lots of injectable steroids have been recalled, but many people have been adversely affected from the contaminated injectables.

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), in that state alone there have been 233 cases of fungal meningitis, which have resulted in 11 deaths as of January 3, 2013. Of those cases, one case in an elderly patient resulted in a stroke that then resulted in death.

According to the Health Alert Network (release HAN00327), it is likely that patients who received an injection that is potentially contaminated with fungal meningitis would present with symptoms 1 to 4 weeks following exposure. Symptoms are likely to include nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, and potentially neurological deficit (consistent with a stroke). It was reported that some infected patients noted very mild symptoms while others had severe symptoms.

It is recommended that anybody who has had a steroid injection since July of 2012, from one of the three potentially contaminated lots, seek medical attention and request a lumbar puncture (LP) to confirm or deny fungal meningitis. People located in the state of Michigan who have received a Methylprednisolone Acetate steroid injection need to contact the administering clinic immediately to confirm that the injection was not from one of the potentially contaminated lots manufactured at the NECC.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), there have been 620 people in 19 states infected with meningitis since the outbreak. Only one death related case resulted from stroke related to the exposure. However, the CDC commented that it could have been much worse, as there was the potential of 14,000 people being exposed.

The CDC and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are currently investigating the outbreak. However, it has been noted that the quick response of healthcare professionals, federal governing agencies, and state agencies has saved many lives during this outbreak. Only 6% of the reported cases have ended in death. Previous outbreaks of similar fungal meningitis strains have resulted in 40 to 50% death rates.

Anybody who has had a steroid injection should contact that injecting clinic to make sure it was not manufactured by the NECC, especially in one of the specified lots. Anybody having symptoms of meningitis in Michigan or any other state should be seen immediately to have the infection ruled out.