Health & Safety

October 12, 2012

Nevada steroid treatments free from fungal meningitis

Nellis medical officials confirm that the Mike O’ Callaghan Federal Medical Center, serving local active-duty military personnel, their families and retirees, did not receive any contaminated steroids reported recently to have caused meningitis in patients across the nation.

Approximately 137 cases of meningitis, including 12 deaths, have been reported in 10 states as of Oct. 10. This outbreak is linked to a batch of preservative-free steroid medication contaminated with a fungus known to cause meningitis. The mechanism of this outbreak was injection of the medicine into patients with back pain.

The company responsible for the steroid’s production identified and recalled the suspected products, which were distributed to up to 75 medical facilities throughout 23 states. Affected patients should have been contacted by the time of this publication.

Fungal meningitis is not contagious (not spread from person to person). Symptoms of this infection have typically occurred within 1 to 4 weeks after injection and have included fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and mental abnormalities. Treatment of fungal meningitis involves high doses of antifungal medication and may vary depending on the health of the patient.

Locally, the Southern Nevada Health District has reported that all recalled steroids shipped to the state of Nevada were accounted for, found to be unopened, and have been recovered by the Food and Drug Administration. It has also been confirmed that the Air Force and Veterans pharmacies at the Mike O’ Callaghan Federal Medical Center, did not receive any of the contaminated steroids.




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