Virginia Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other states on a multi-state investigation of meningitis and strokes in patients who received spinal injections. While the investigation into the source of the infection is not yet known, all infected patients received preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate among three lots which have been voluntarily recalled by the New England Compounding Center, in Framingham, Massachusetts. This product of concern was distributed to 23 states.
Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is working closely with the only two medical facilities known to have received and used this product from this manufacturer. Both facilities have contacted their patients who received this medication via any route of injection between July 2012 and September 2012. Insight Imaging in Roanoke contacted more than 600 patients and New River Valley Surgery Center in Christiansburg contacted less than 30 patients.
The manufacturer has recalled the implicated lots of the medication and the product is no longer being used.
As of October 10, 2012, CDC is reporting 137 cases from 10 states with a clinical presentation consistent with fungal infection. Tragically, these numbers include 11 deaths. In Virginia, 27 cases, including 1 fatal case, have been identified. Additional suspect cases are being investigated.
Patients who had spinal injection procedures at these two facilities are being asked if they developed any new symptoms since their spinal injection. Patients are being advised to seek immediate evaluation and let a physician know about this investigation and the concern for possible infection. Symptoms of concern are new or worsening headache, fever, localized weakness, falls, difficulty walking, slurred speech or other symptoms that may suggest a stroke.
VDH will continue to provide new information as it becomes available and daily updates will be provided on the CDC web page, www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html
If you have questions or concerns that you may be experiencing illness after receiving a spinal injection, please contact your health care provider.
For more information, you can also call your local health department or 211.
Resources for Clinicians
Physicians who see patients associated with this investigation are asked to contact the local health department to report any new illnesses in their patients.