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Meningitis meltdown after outbreak spreads

By Megan Brantley, mbrantley@wcyb.com
Published On: Oct 05 2012 05:10:18 PM CDT
MENINGITIS
BRISTOL, Tenn. -

California, Florida, Georgia and Illinois are just a few of the states that have received epidural steroid injection that are said to be contaminated by fungal meningitis.

However, we learned that fungal meningitis is not contagious. "Fungal Meningitis is not spread person to person so you don't have to worry about isolating yourself from somebody," said Dr. Gail Stanley.

News 5 went to Anderson Compounding Pharmacy to find out how they detect problems with their products. Cleve Anderson tells us nothing goes on their shelves without first being tested. "We send off testing of all of our sterile products here. Every batch that goes out of here gets tested by an independent FDA approved facility," said Anderson.

He also tells News 5 they have in-house inspections to follow regulations and are also inspected by an independent outside source that insure she meets with the regulations of the FDA. "We have it inspected every 6 months to meet guidelines, insuring sterility of our hoods and clean rooms," said Anderson.

According to the CDC Tennessee and Virginia are the top contenders for this illness with Tennessee topping the charts with 29 infected and Virginia with six.

We discovered that there are 47 who have been infected in the country and five have died.

Dr. Stanley tells us that the FDA and CDC are working to fix the problem. "Those lots have all been withdrawn and the people that got something from those lots are all being contacted to be especially aware," said Stanley.

If you had a steroid injection between July 1 and September 28, you could be at risk.

We learned from the Tennessee health department that a few symptoms you will suffer from a severe headache, fever, stiff neck, unsteadiness, difficultly walking and back pain.

We learned from the CDC that they are still investigating how the injections were contaminated and if any other products are dangerous.

The Tennessee Health Department is urging all clinics to not use any products coming from New England Compounding Center.

If you would like more information on this outbreak, you can go to the CDC’s website by clicking here.