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Ohio cracks down after meningitis outbreak

After a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis, linked to a Massachusetts pharmacy, continues to spread, the state of Ohio is closely watching pharmacies that mix the drugs for individualized prescriptions on site. The state is checking all of the pharmacies statewide that custom make compound prescriptions. There are 17 pharmacies in the state of Ohio that will be inspected by officials. Specialty pharmacies are usually inspected at least one time every three years or so. The state is starting to require pharmacies to report how much business is retail and how much is preparing the prescriptions. 11 illnesses in Ohio have been linked to the fungal meningitis outbreak.

The current fungal meningitis outbreak is being linked to tainted steroids which were mixed and distributed by the New England Compounding Center out of Framingham, Massachusetts. The company shipped out 17,000 vials of steroids, methylprednisolone acetate, to 23 states that contained a type of fungus that is causing patients to get fungal meningitis. The New England Compounding Center, Ameridose and recently Infusion Resource have all closed due to inspections because of the outbreak. The New England Compounding Center has also recalled all of its products.

Patients who received the injected steroids for reasons due to pain, they are experiencing symptoms similar to other types of meningitis. The symptoms appear one to four weeks after getting an injection but are milder than the other types. Symptoms patients should be aware of include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, vision changes, slurred speech, weakness and numbness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a list of all of the offices and clinics that received the tainted vials from the New England Compounding Center.

Read the full story here.

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