Georgia Confirms 1st Case of Fungal Meningitis
ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia officials say they've confirmed the state's first case of fungal meningitis linked to steroid shots for back pain.
The Georgia Department of Public Health said Tuesday the patient is a 66-year-old Bibb County woman. She is considered stable, is not hospitalized and is being cared for by an infectious disease physician.
Officials say she received an injection for back pain at the Forsyth Street Ambulatory Surgery Center in Macon. The center received steroids produced by the Massachusetts pharmacy at the center of the outbreak, the New England Compounding Center.
The surgery center has been alerting patients who received the injections.
The outbreak has sickened nearly 300 people in 16 states, including 23 who died. Each received a steroid shot, mostly for back pain.
The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed the state's first case of fungal meningitis right here in Macon..as suspectes, it's directly connected to contaminated epidural steroid injections.
"There's a very strong possibility that up to 180 people have been recognized as having been exposed to that medication." -Dr. David Harvey/North Central Health District
The patient is identified as a 66 year old Maconite who received the tainted injection at the Forsyth Street Ambulatory Surgery Center.
She is reportedly in stable condition and not hospitalized.
Doctors say this fungal form of meningitis progresses more slowly than bacterial meningitis, but if left untreated it can be just as dangerous and deadly. Early detection is key.
Dr. Harvey says symptoms of fungal meningitis are very subtle and can be difficult to detect.
"If they develop any symptoms of headache, sore throat, fever, aching all over, stiff neck or woresening situations like that should contact their local physician remind them that they have had the epidural, they have been exposed and the proper tests need to be done." -Dr. David Harvey/North Central Health District