Treasure Valley could see cases of fungal meningitis

Treasure Valley could see cases of fungal meningitis




Posted on October 16, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 17 at 6:02 PM

IDAHO --- Health officials in Idaho are contacting nine medical facilities across the state that received drugs from a company that distributed drugs at the center of a nationwide meningitis outbreak.

Those facilities includes several in the Treasure Valley.

All nine Idaho medical facilities that have received injectable drugs from New England Compounding Center (NECC) since May 2012, which are part of an expanded recall. 

The nine clinics are:
•    Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center (Boise)
•    St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center (Boise)
•    Idaho Eye Care Center (Idaho Falls)
•    Walker Spine & Sports Specialists (Idaho Falls)
•    Idaho Eye Care Center (Pocatello)
•    St. Luke’s Magic Valley Regional Medical Center (Twin Falls)
•    Ambulatory Surgery Center of Burley (Burley)
•    North Idaho Pain Center (Couer d’Alene)
•    Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine (Coeur d’Alene)

These nine providers are in addition to two medical facilities that received NECC epidural steroid injections suspected of causing a national outbreak of fungal meningitis; Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett and Pain Specialists of Idaho in Idaho Falls.

The Food and Drug Administration recently expanded its investigation into possibly contaminated drugs from the pharmacy to include injectable drugs distributed since May 2012 for joint pain, and also used during heart and eye surgeries.

No illnesses associated with these other drugs have been reported, but health officials are urging officials at the nine Idaho clinics to contact patients who may have received the drugs so they can watch for symptoms of meningitis or symptoms of infection.

A steroid commonly used for back pain and distributed by the NECC is blamed for a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak. That outbreak has killed 15 people and sickened 233 people in 15 states, including one man in eastern Idaho. Doctors say he has been hospitalized and is responding well to treatment.