One probable case of Meningitis in Illinois

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is reporting one probable case of meningitis associated with the use of an epidural steroid injection pain medication, but the investigation is ongoing.

The probable case is a Chicago resident who received an epidural steroid injection from one of three implicated lots of methylprednisolone acetate originally recalled by the New England Compounding Centers (NECC). The person received the injection at one of the three APAC Centers for Pain Management that received the recalled medication. The person received the injection during the exposure period set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – May 21 through Sept. 26, 2012 – and is undergoing further testing and treatment.

"The Illinois Department of Public Health continues to work with local and federal officials investigating the multi-state meningitis outbreak," said Director Hasbrouck. "If you have received an epidural steroid injection and are experiencing fever, worsening headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, new numbness or weakness, or slurred speech, talk with your doctor as soon as possible. This type of fungal meningitis is not contagious."

The CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation found possible fungal contamination of methylprednisolone acetate in three lots produced by NECC. The company has since recalled all of its products going back to January 1 of this year.

The only health provider in Illinois that received the recalled product from NECC is APAC Centers for Pain Management. Three APAC locations provided epidural steroid injections – the Thorek Hospital Professional Building and Lincoln Park location, both in Chicago, and Prairie Medical Building in Westchester. A hotline for APAC pain clinic patients has been established to respond to patient concerns - 708-699-5402. APAC estimates approximately 350 people may have been exposed to the product. APAC has contacted all but about a half dozen of these clients and is continuing to make efforts to reach them.

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