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Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Larger Than Predicted

I received a warning in my email today.  It was an update from the CDC to be on the lookout for symptoms of fungal meningitis.

" ( UPDATED October 12, 2012 ) — The number of people exposed to potentially contaminated methylprednisolone acetate produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts, is closer to 14,000 — not 13,000 — as originally reported on October 8, federal health officials said today.

"These 14,000 patients received the medication as a steroid injection either into the spinal area or into a joint space such as a knee, shoulder or ankle," said J. Todd Weber, MD, incident manager of the multistate meningitis outbreak at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 12,000 of these people have been contacted to date, he said.

As of today, the CDC said a total of 170 cases (including the 14 deaths) have been reported across 11 states: Florida (7 cases, 2 deaths), Idaho (1 case), Indiana (21 cases, 1 death), Maryland (13 cases, 1 death), Michigan (39 cases, 3 deaths), Minnesota (3 cases), New Jersey (2 cases), North Carolina (2 cases), Ohio (3 cases), Tennessee (49 cases, 6 deaths), and Virginia (30 cases, 1 death)."

The onset of symptoms is typically between 1 and 4 weeks; however, there are reports of longer time between injection and onset of symptoms, Dr. Weber said, "so patients and their doctors will need to be vigilant for at least several months following the injection."

Symptoms include fever, new or worsening headache, nausea, and new neurologic deficit consistent with deep brain stroke. Almost all patients have reported headaches and almost half have reported fever, back pain, or nausea.""*

If you or someone you know is experiencing pain and are considering steroid injections, I suggest you explore less invasive alternatives.  Chiropractic is one such option.  In my clinic I also offer Decompression Therapy, a safe alternative to surgery and injections.  If you have any questions, please give me a call, I would be happy to talk with you about your options.

Dr. Tate Huffman D.C.
Core Integrated Health and Chiropractic

*Medscape Today news

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October 12, 2012