CINCINNATI - The number of deaths from fungal meningitis has risen. The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control show 119 people have been infected, while 11 have died.
None of the deaths are in the Tri-State. All of the cases are traced to a contaminated steroid shot made by New England Compounding Center, Inc. in Framingham, Mass.
Hamilton County Health Department Public Information Officer Mike Samet said Cincinnati Pain Management in Sycamore Township is the only clinic in the Tri-State linked to the contaminated drug. The department said 200 people in the Tri-State received the medication.
"If you've not had a shot from Cincinnati Pain Management in between May and the present of three lots of recalled drugs, you are perfectly fine," Samet said.
The shot could cause fungal meningitis to develop, the most rare strain of meningitis.
"They've worked really closely with us in terms of providing patient lists for everyone who has potentially had an injection and we've reached out and contacted literally every one of them," Samet said.
Samet said they worked around the clock over the weekend to track everyone down by phone or in person, and asked them specific questions listed on a form that was created.
He said only one person has not responded yet to the health department out of the 200 patients affected.
"If you've got a compromised immune system, your chances of developing symptoms is much higher," he said.
So far, no one who went to the clinic between May and now is showing signs of the infection. However, Samet said this doesn't mean they are not keeping a close eye on everyone.
"It's a slow growing fungus, so potentially these folks could develop something one to four weeks after the injection, sometimes even longer," Samet said.
An office manager with Cincinnati Pain Management said they are no longer using the potentially contaminated batch of medication. They are also continually following up with patients who were given the injection to make sure they are doing well.
That batch of medication came from the New England Compounding Center, Inc.
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