Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New fungal meningitis case reported in Florida; 19 people now sickened by tainted drug

TALLAHASSEE — State health officials Tuesday confirmed a new case of fungal meningitis associated with contaminated steroid injections for back pain, bringing Florida's total case count to 19, including three deaths. None of the cases has occurred in the Tampa Bay area.

The latest patient, a 66-year-old woman, received the tainted vial of methylprednisolone acetate six weeks ago at the Florida Pain Clinic in Marion County. Six facilities in the state, including three in Marion County, unknowingly injected more than 1,000 people with the contaminated medication from New England Compounding Center.

Nationwide, the number of cases of fungal meningitis related to contaminated steroid injections is 297 with 23 deaths across 16 states. The disease is not contagious.

Meanwhile, federal regulators have broadened their warning to health-care providers about all injectible drugs made by the New England Compounding Center because of new cases of infections linked to two other products. One is steroid triamcinolone acetonide, which is different from the steroid implicated in the existing meningitis cases. A patient who may now have meningitis received the medication through a spinal injection, the FDA said.

The other case involves a medication that is injected into the coronary arteries to temporarily paralyze the heart during open-heart surgery. One patient who received the product, called cardioplegic solution, subsequently developed a fungal infection, the agency said.

Florida officials have already asked 260 facilities in the state that received any medication from the Massachusetts company to follow up with patients and be on the lookout for meningitis symptoms. State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health John Armstrong on Tuesday said he did not know which of the 260 facilities, which include a number of area hospitals, had the two medications possibly tied to new cases.

Armstrong emphasized the state had already asked all those facilities to follow up with patients.

The average age of people infected by the contaminated back steroids in Florida is 60, and the average incubation period is 22 days.

New fungal meningitis case reported in Florida; 19 people now sickened by tainted drug 10/23/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 2:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bono and Bush: Former president shares photo of visit


    A surprising photo showed up Friday on former President George W. Bush's Instagram feed. Apparently Bono made a visit to the ranch:

  2. After trip's final day, Trump to return to tumult at home


    TAORMINA, Italy — Down to the final day of his lengthy first international trip, President Donald Trump will lift off for Washington having rattled some allies and reassured others, returning to a White House that sits under a cloud of scandal.

    G7 leaders sign the G7 Taormina Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism at the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy on Friday.  (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)
  3. Islamic State claims responsibility for Egypt attack


    MINYA, Egypt — The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attack on a bus carrying Christians on their way to a remote desert monastery south of the Egyptian capital, Cairo, which killed 29.

    Relatives of killed Coptic Christians grieve during their funeral at Abu Garnous Cathedral in Minya, Egypt, on Friday. Egyptian officials say dozens of people were killed and wounded in an attack by masked militants on a bus carrying Coptic Christians, including children, south of Cairo.(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...