Nebraska public health officials are carefully monitoring the multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and joint infections linked to contaminated steroid injections manufactured by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. As of now, Nebraska has no cases tied to this outbreak and there's no indication that any of the contaminated products were distributed in the state.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled the implicated steroid medication and all other medications manufactured by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that 29 health care facilities in the state received some of the other recalled medications manufactured by NECC.
"The products received in Nebraska have been recalled but are not the products currently implicated in the outbreak," said Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state's Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. "DHHS is working with local health departments to contact health care providers to remind them of the recall and encourage them to follow up with patients who received an injectable NECC product after May 21, 2012 and review their cases. This is being done out of an abundance of caution."
Outbreak background – The CDC and FDA continue to coordinate a multistate investigation of fungal meningitis and joint infection among patients who received a contaminated steroid injection prepared by NECC either to the spinal area or in a joint space like a knee, shoulder or ankle. There are 257 cases and 20 deaths associated with this outbreak spanning 16 states according to the CDC. Federal health officials haven't determined the original source of the outbreak; however it has been linked to three lots of injectable steroid medication. The contaminated medication has been recalled as well as all medication made by NECC.
Meningitis is the swelling of protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The swelling is usually caused by bacteria or viral infection but it can also be caused by fungus. This is called fungal meningitis. The types of fungus identified in this outbreak are Exsrohilum, Aspergillus and Cladosporium. Fungal meningitis is not contagious. Treatment is long courses of high dose antifungal medications, usually given by IV in the hospital.
Here's where to find the latest information about the outbreak and the recalled products:
Nebraska Facilities That Received Recalled NECC Products
Alegent Health Bergan Mercy, 7500 Mercy Road, OmahaAlegent Health Plastic Surgery, 7710 Mercy Road Suite 320, OmahaAlegent Women's Healthcare, 11109 South 84th Street, Suite 4800, PapillionColumbus Community Hospital, 4600 38th Street, ColumbusColumbus Surgery Center, 3772 43rd Avenue Suite B, ColumbusCreighton Medical Center, 601 North 30th Street, OmahaEhrling Bergquist Hospital, 2501 Capehart Road, Offutt AFBFaith Regional Health Services, 2700 W. Norfolk Ave, NorfolkFaith Regional Hospital-Cardio, 2700 West Norfolk Avenue, NorfolkFaith Regional Surgery Center, 301 North 27th Street, Suite 3, NorfolkFamily Practice of Grand Island, P.C., 2116 W. Faidley Avenue, Suite 400, Grand IslandFremont Area Medical Center, 450 East 23rd Street, FremontGood Samaritan Hospital, 10 E. 31st Street, KearneyHeartland Surgery Center, 3515 30th Avenue, KearneyLakeside Hospital, 16901 Lakeside Hills Court, OmahaMemorial Community Health, Inc., 1423 7th Street, AuroraMemorial Hospital, 1423 7th Street, AuroraMidwest Eye Surgery Center, 4353 Dodge Street, OmahaNebraska Heart Hospital, 7500 South 91st Street, LincolnNebraska Pain Consultants, 6940 Van Dorn Street, LincolnNemaha County Hospital, 2022 13th Street, AuburnOgallala Community Hospital, 2601 North Spruce Street, OgallalaOmaha Amb. Surgery Center, 825 N. 90th Street, OmahaOutpatient Surg Specialties Center Llc, 11704 West Center Road, Suite 110, OmahaPhysicians Surgical Center, 1500 South 48th Street, LincolnPure Aesthetic Medispa, 3610 Richmond Circle, Grand IslandSaint Elizabeth Regional Med. Ctr., 555 South 70th Street, LincolnSeward Memorial Hospital, 300 North Columbia Avenue, SewardSpine & Pain Center Of Nebraska, PC, 9850 Nicholas Street, Omah aSurgery Center Of Fremont-, 2727 North Clarkson Street, FremontYork General Hospital, 2222 North Lincoln Avenue, York