According to the El Dorado County Public Health Division of the Health and Human Services Agency, the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are closely working with health departments and healthcare facilities regarding a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak.
The outbreak is associated with a potentially contaminated steroid medication, Methylprednisolone Acetate, produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Massachusetts. The product has since been recalled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To be associated with this particular outbreak, an individual would have received an injection of the potentially contaminated medication some time after May 21, 2012.
According to Interim Health Officer for El Dorado County Dr. Robert Hartmann, there have been no cases associated with this outbreak in El Dorado County to date and there are no known shipments of the product in El Dorado County. “While there currently is no local concern, we are closely monitoring the situation,” said Dr. Hartmann.
The El Dorado County Public Health Division said they were first notified of the outbreak at the end of September after cases were reported in other states.
As of Oct. 15, there were 214 cases reported across 15 states, and 15 related deaths. There have been no reported cases or deaths in California. Four California counties were notified that they received shipments of the potentially tainted product; none of these counties is near El Dorado County.
On Oct. 15, the FDA issued an additional advisory to healthcare providers recommending an expanded notification to patients who had received any type of injectable product from NECC after May 21, instructing patients to contact them if they experienced symptoms of fungal meningitis. While these products are not implicated in the outbreak, the expanded recall was recommended as a precaution. None of the NECC products in the expanded notification advisory were distributed in El Dorado County, according to the most recent distribution list provided by the FDA.
This particular form of meningitis cannot be spread from person to person. Symptoms of fungal meningitis include fever, new or worsening headache, nausea and stiff neck. Individuals with questions regarding the outbreak can visit the CDC’s Website or speak with an operator via CDC’s toll-free information line at 1-800-232-4636. Patients who received injectables and who feel ill should speak with their healthcare provider.
For more current information, the CDC is regularly posting updated information about the outbreak on their Website at cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/currentsituation.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.