The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has been responding to the multi-state meningitis outbreak that has caused fourteen deaths. Its source has been identified as the New England Compounding Center where a steroid injection shipment was contaminated with the meningitis-causing fungus Exserohiluum rostratum.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, nineteen Alabama residents have received NECC-contaminated steroid products from procedures in Tennessee and Alabama, and some of these residents have had symptoms of meningitis or fungal infection. Investigations and notices by the FDA and the Alabama Department of Public Health have expressed concern about the sterility of any injectable drugs produced by NECC. Patients who have had procedures, after May 21, 2012, that utilized an injectable NECC product should be notified by their health care practitioner about potential risk of infection. These procedures include, but are not limited to, epidural injections, joint injections, eye surgeries, and heart surgeries.
The Centers for Disease Control has identified 44 Alabama health care facilities that have received NECC products. The Alabama Department of Public Health is currently validating this information, and is contacting these facilities to insure that the NECC products are removed from inventory. The Alabama Department of Public Health states:
Patients who received a procedure at one of the identified facilities after May 21, 2012, should self-monitor for at least 3 months following t he procedure. Signs and symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting. Signs and symptoms of possible infections include fever, swelling, increasing pain or drainage from surgical site. Patients experiencing any of these should contact their primary care provider and the health care practitioner who performed the procedure.
The list of Alabama facilities that received any NECC products include various locations in Andalusia, Anniston, Bessemer, Birmingham, Cullman, Decatur, Dothan, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Scottsboro, and other locations.