Update on the Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are currently coordinating a multistate investigation of fungal infection among patients who received a steroid injection with a potentially contaminated product either into the spinal area or in a joint space, such as a knee, shoulder or ankle.

As of Oct. 18, 2012, a total of 257 cases, including 20 deaths and three peripheral joint infections, have been reported in 16 states (see CDCs website for up-to-date information about case count and distribution by state).

The CDC and the FDA have confirmed the presence of a fungus known as Exserohilum rostratum in unopened medication vials of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (80mg/ml) from one of the three implicated lots from NECC.  The laboratory confirmation further links steroid injections from these lots from NECC to the multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and joint infections.