Texas resident diagnosed with meningitis, linked to tainted steroids




Posted on October 12, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 12 at 5:10 PM

DALLAS – A Texas resident has been diagnosed with meningitis, the first statewide case linked to a nationwide outbreak from tainted steroid injections.  

The Texas Department of State Health Services said the patient is a woman who lives in Central Texas. Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zach Thompson said she was given the steroid injection at Dallas Back Pain Management, one of two medical facilities in the state that received the recalled drugs.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake was the other. The state’s health department believes 131 patients were shot with the tainted steroids. Health professionals have contacted them and are conducting tests for meningitis, the state says. 

Initially, Dallas Back Pain said it didn't inject any patients with the recalled drugs. It discovered Friday that wasn't the case. Texas Health Harris Methodist said it injected 114 patients, meaning 17 got the shots at Dallas Back Pain. 

About 75 clinics in 23 states received a shipment of the steroids that have caused the outbreak of fungal meningitis. Framingham, Mass.-based New England Compounding Center has voluntarily stopped its production following the diagnoses. All of its products have been recalled. 

Some of the steroids were infected with a fungus, the company said. 

Yesterday, a representative for the Centers for Disease Control told the Associated Press that federal health officials had contacted 12,000 of the estimated 14,000 who were injected with the drugs in question.  

Texas is the 12th state to report an illness from the outbreak. It joins Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. So far, 14 people have died and 184 have been sickened by the steroids. Tennessee has had 50 cases, Michigan has 41 and Virginia has 33. Here's a map showing the national breakdown.

Thompson said the Texas patient is not being treated in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. Fungal meningitis cannot be spread from person to person, the state notes.