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State Continues to Contact Possible Meningitis Outbreak Patients

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Friday that additional patients who may have been exposed to meningitis from contaminated medications are being contacted.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health continues to follow up with patients who may have been exposed to contaminated medications produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass., as part of a nationwide investigation into a fungal meningitis outbreak, according to a press release.

To date, there is only one case of fungal meningitis in Pennsylvania associated with this outbreak. Illness occurred in a patient who received an epidural steroid injection at Allegheny Pain Management in Altoona. The facility was one of two locations in Pennsylvania that received doses of the specific lots of steroid medication responsible for the national outbreak. 

As a precautionary measure, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this week recommended that all patients who received a NECC injectable product after May 21, 2012 be contacted and asked about their health. This will allow FDA to determine whether any other products are causing problems. However, to date no link between illness and these other products has been made. 

NECC compounds and distributes a large number of injectable products, and there are more than 150 locations in Pennsylvania that received injectable products from the company after May 21. These healthcare facilities are in the process of notifying patients who received these products.

The Department of Health and local health departments are assisting the facilities in this effort. Patients who have concerns should contact their healthcare provider or the facility where these doses were administered.

Questions can also be directed to the FDA hotline 1-800-FDA-1088, your local health department, or the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH. Information about the fungal meningitis investigation can be found at the web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.   

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