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Minnesota records 10th fungal meningitis case

Minnesota confirmed its 10th case of fungal meningitis. A 60 year old woman who received a steroid injection at Medical Advanced Pain Specialists is now being treated for fungal meningitis. Medical Advanced Pain Specialists is one of two places that received shipments of tainted steroids which are being linked to the current outbreak of fungal meningitis. A specialty pharmacy out of Massachusetts, the New England Compounding Center is being held responsible for three lots of contaminated vials of methylprednisolone acetate, steroids injected for pain. The steroids were shipped to 23 states; there have been over 300 cases of fungal meningitis reported and 25 deaths.

The New England Compounding Center has recalled all of its products and stopped production while being investigated. The three lots contained about 17,000 vials of the steroids and it is believed that 14,000 people may have been exposed to the fungus.

Fungal meningitis is when a fungus affects the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord lining. Patients are also at risk for joint problems. Those that received injections in their joints, knees and shoulders could develop long term issues and possible have to have joint replacement surgery.

Symptoms of fungal meningitis to be aware of include fever, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, headache, slurred speech, vision changes, pain and swelling at the site of the injection, weakness and numbness. Signs can appear one to four weeks after receiving an injection but are milder than the symptoms related to other types of meningitis. Officials are encouraging any patients who received an injection and thinks they could have fungal meningitis to contact their health care provider immediately.

Read the full story here.

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