Fungal Meningitis: No Cases Reported In Summit County

Health officials are dealing with a multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis caused by contaminated injections used for back pain.

Summit County health officials are closely monitoring the outbreak of fungal meningitis caused by contaminated injections used to treat back pain.

Right now, only one case has been reported in Ohio, and it's not in Summit County, according to the Ohio Department of Health. A 65-year-old man is sick with fungal meningitis likely caused by a contamined epidural steroid injection.

"There is one case Ohio but the county residence isn't being named, but I can tell you it's not in Summit County," Dr. Marguerite Erme, medical director of the Summit County Board of Public Health, said.

"The recalled medication was not distributed in Summit County." 

Erme said she hasn't heard of any outbreaks in the county or of any resident contracting fungal meningitis. 

The disease cannot be passed from person to person. It is not contagious. Check out a FAQ on the disease.

The number of confirmed cases is growing. ABC News reports that there have been 105 cases confirmed and eight deaths. Health officials said the exposure to the disease could be as high as 13,000, according to NBC News.

The contamined injections were produced in Framingham, Mass., by the New England Compounding Center. The injections were shipped to four facilities in Ohio, none in Northeast Ohio.

They are: the Marion Pain Clinic and BKC Pain Specialists, both in Marion, Ohio, Cincinnati Pain Management in Cincinnati and the Ortho-Spine Rehab Center in Dublin, Ohio.

Health officials have told doctors to be on the lookout for the symptoms of fungal meningitis.

They are similar to the symptoms of other forms of meningitis but often appear more gradually and begin very mild. In addition to typical meningitis symptoms like headache, fever, nausea, and stiffness of the neck, people with fungal meningitis may also experience confusion, dizziness, and discomfort from bright lights. Patients might just have one or two of these symptoms.

Call your doctor if you have symptoms.


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