Fungal meningitis outbreak reported in at least 10 states

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 15, 2012

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

A multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis has infected at least 119 people and led to 11 deaths since the first reported case on Sept. 21, according to Oct. 9 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are working with state health departments to determine the source of the infections. But officials say the outbreak could be associated with potentially contaminated medication.

Meningitis cases have been reported in Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. This type of meningitis is not transmissible from person to person, the CDC said.

All of the infected patients received epidural injections of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (80 mg/ml) that were prepared by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., the CDC said. The FDA detected fungal contamination in particulate matter taken from a sealed vial of methylprednisolone acetate that was collected from the compounding center. Foreign materials also were identified in other vials produced by the New England company, the CDC said (link).

On Oct. 3, the company stopped all production and initiated recall of all methylprednisolone acetate and other drugs prepared at the compounding center for intrathecal administration. The CDC said health professionals should stop using, and remove from their pharmacy inventories, products made by the New England Compounding Center. Physicians also should contact patients who received injections of the product from any of the recalled lots to see if they are experiencing symptoms.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn