2012-10-17 / Front Page

Dept. Of Health Working With Pain Clinics On Exposure To Fungal Meningitis

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

The Department of Health is working closely with two pain clinics to identify and contact patients who received a medication linked to cases of an unusual type of fungal meningitis in several other states.

The two clinics involved are Allegheny Pain Management in Altoona, as well as South Hills Pain and Rehab Associates, with locations in Jefferson Hills, Bethel Park, Monessen and Brentwood. The Allegheny Health Department is also working with state officials regarding the South Hills Pain and Rehab Associate facilities.

At present, no cases of illness related to the use of this medication have been identified in Pennsylvania. A total of 34 cases and five deaths associated with this outbreak have been identified in six other states to date.

The disease outbreak has been linked to three separate lots of injectable, preservative free methylprednisolone. This medication is only used for treatment of chronic pain, usually involving injection into an area around the spinal cord known as the epidural space or into joints or muscles. The lots in question were produced by a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts and shipped to 23 different states over the last several months.

Any remaining medication was recalled by the company last week. The clinics in Pennsylvania are no longer using the medication from the Massachusetts pharmacy.

Patients who may have received injections from these lots are being directly contacted to identify any possible illness and assure they receive appropriate follow up.

Fungal meningitis is not transmitted form person-toperson, and there is no cause for concern to anyone in Pennsylvania who did not receive an injection of this medication.

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