San Antonio (KTSA News)--A steroid injection for back pain which has been found to cause a rare type of fungal meningitis in some of its recipients has been traced into Texas.
"We have not seen any cases yet in Bexar County, and I do not think there are any cases yet reported in Texas, but it is still evolving and these injections can take weeks to produce symptoms," said Doctor Thomas Schlenker, Director of Public Health at San Antonio's Metropolitan Health District.
The injections have been traced back to The New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.
"Every single vile of the medication sent out by the center has been tracked to its destination, whether that be a hospital or a clinic or a doctor's office. And then, every single person who has received an injection of that is being contacted to alert them to the symptoms and what they should watch for," said Doctor Schlenker.
The outbreak is a rare form of the infection known as aspergillus meningitis, which Dr. Schlenker said is different from the more common forms of viral and bacterial meningitides in that it develops slowly.
"But some of the symptoms are the same. Particularly, headaches and other neurological abnormalities like blurred vision, hearing problems, and even stroke and paralysis."
The infection, which has been reported in ten U.S. states so far, has already killed eleven and infected 119 people total, according to Tuesday's count.
"This type of meningitis is not contagious at all," said Dr. Schlenker, "The only people that are in danger are the ones who have received the injection."
If you know or even think you have received this shot, Dr. Schlenker said you should contact your doctor immediately.
By: Marissa A. Wagner
Tuesday, October 9, 2012