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At Least Four Florida Residents Sickened in Deadly Nationwide Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

Posted on October 8, 2012

Four residents of Marion County have contracted a rare form of fungal meningitis and Florida health officials are holding their breath, hoping that more cases don’t emerge.

Contaminated injectable steroids used to counteract back pain have been implicated in a growing fungal meningitis outbreak that has sickened at least 105 people and killed eight nationwide. Although the source of the outbreak has yet to be confirmed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that interim data indicates that all of those infected with the disease received an epidural of a steroid medication that was prepared by New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass.

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

So far, fungal meningitis cases have cropped up in nine states, including Florida, but health officials are expressing concerns that the outbreak might spread because the drug allegedly contaminated with aspergillus — the fungus that causes this rare form of meningitis — was distributed to 23 states.

Facilties in Florida that have been cited as receiving the injections are:

  • Florida Pain Clinic in Ocala, (352) 237-5906
  • Interventional Rehab Center in Pensacola, (850) 484-8800
  • Marion Pain Management Center in Ocala, (352) 622-1845
  • North County Surgicenter in Palm Beach Gardens, (561) 626-6446M
  • Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery in Orlando, (407) 426-8331
  • Pain Consultants of West Florida in Pensacola, (850) 494-0000
  • Surgery Center of Ocala in Ocala, (352) 237-5906
  • Surgical Park Center in Miami, (305) 271-9100 x226

NECC has recalled three lots of the drug in question, methylprednisolone acetate. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that use of all NECC products be discontinued during the investigation. According to reports from Health News Florida, patients who received epidural steroid injections at six Florida clinics since May 21 may be at risk.

The Florida Department of Health recommends that patients who may have been injected with the drug from the contaminated lots in the last month get tested immediately for infection.

The Marion County steroid injection fungal meningitis attorneys at Farah & Farah will be keeping track of this story as it develops. If you’ve been harmed by a medication because a drug manufacturer has been negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, hospitalization, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you believe you have a case, call us immediately at (800) 533-3555 to discuss your legal options.