WUFT News

Viral meningitis cases linked to steroid injections, two cases reported in Florida

By on October 5th, 2012

A rare and deadly form of fungal meningitis has killed five and sickened 47 in seven states, with two cases reported in Florida.

The Florida Department of Health has identified eight facilities in Florida that received contaminated medication, three of them in Ocala, according to the Associated Press.

The eight facilities are: Florida Pain Clinic, Ocala; Interventional Rehab Center, Pensacola; Marion Pain Management Center, Ocala; North County Surgicenter, Palm Beach; Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery, Orlando; Pain Consultants of West Florida, Pensacola; Surgery Center of Ocala and Surgical Park Center, Miami.

The common steroid injections, used to relieve spine and back pain, were contaminated with fungus when they were being produced at the manufacturer, said Paul Doering, a University of Florida pharmacy professor.

Health officials traced the drug back to a phramacy in Massachusetts that issued a recall last week and shut down operations.

Doering explained that the big issue with this contamination case is that the contaminated injections were prepared at a compounding pharmacy, which takes raw materials to produce injections in a sterile environment to be used in doctors’ offices.

“It’s going to raise some eyebrows as to why this compounding pharmacy found it necessary to manipulate and otherwise repackage and/or manufacture the substance,” he said.

Although the the fungal meningitis is life-threatening, it is not contagious. But Doering said it is still of concern.

Symptoms include severe and worsening headache, nausea, dizziness and fever.

“This is a major public health problem, when the pharmacies that are expected to prepare and dispense these things free of any contamination end up instead causing this type of fungal outbreak,” he said. “It’s caused the FDA to get really concerned about what goes on in a so-called compounding pharmacy.”


This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Annoyed

    I am confused, or at least annoyed at attempts deliberate or accidental to mislead the readers. First you state the contamination happened at the manufacturing facility. Later in the article it sounds like the compounding pharmacies are getting blamed. If the compounding pharmacies receive contaminated meds from the manufacturer, even if these pharmacies rigidly follow protocol to prevent contamination at their sites, the final result is contaminated injections. The fault lies with the manufacturer and not the compounders in such a case. Please do research for yourself on what compounding pharmacies actually do. The FDA is concerned with the compounders and not the manufacturer??? What? Please consider researching this again and rewriting your findings to make better sense.

 

More Stories in Health and Science

Selena Sattler searches for the grade of her favorite fast food location on What the Health. The app was recently released in Florida, allowing users quick access to local restaurant grades based on health inspections.

Mobile App Offers Restaurant Health Inspection Grades

An app called What the Health offers users instant access to health inspection data for restaurants in the area. Launched in Florida on Jan. 26, the app assigns letter grades for restaurants based on county health inspection findings.


Chris “Boris” Marhefka and Carlee Daylor prepare meals to be delivered to members for the week.
Eat The 80 recently launched a Facebook campaign that helped raise $3,000 worth of meals to help families undergoing cancer treatment.

Meal Delivery Program To Help Families In Need

At the end of its one-week campaign, Eat The 80 raised $3,000 for meals to give away to families. The money will provide meals for four or five families over the next month.


Daria Rebbecchi texts in her apartment and sleep is not a priority.

Sleep Not A Priority For Students, Study Finds

Students struggle to get the required amount of sleep while dealing with the demands of college. A study by the National Sleep Foundation finds that most students fail to make sleep a priority in their busy lives.


Healthcare navigator Ronnie Lovler (left) helps a consumer sign up for health care as the Feb. 15 deadline approaches.

Health Care 2015: How To Solve Enrollment Issues

The Feb. 15 deadline for the current health care enrollment period is less than one week away. Until that time, organizations such as the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, WellFlorida Council and Enroll America will host sign-up events and offer services to assist with enrollment, but some consumers will continue to experience unsolvable issues with the process.


SpaceX Headquarters, a 550,000 square foot facility in Hawthorne, California.

UF Successfully Sends Plants To The International Space Station

The UF Space Plants team successfully launched the SpaceX5 capsule to the International Space Station Jan. 10. The capsule contained plants that will help the team study the effects that different environments have on plant life.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments