CINCINNATI - The Ohio Department of Health reports a 52-year-old man from Warren County was diagnosed with fungal meningitis linked to the deadly outbreak across the nation.
This is the second case reported in the Tri-State. A 65-year-old Hamilton County man was diagnosed with meningitis last week, but no word has been released on his condition.
There are now nine cases reported in the state of Ohio. No deaths in the state have resulted from the outbreak, according to ODH.
At the center of the outbreak is a medication distributed by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts. The widely distributed steroid medication is used to treat back pain and is given to patients through an injection.
Eight clinics in our area have been identified as receiving the possible contaminated medications from the pharmacy. Cincinnati Pain Management was using the potentially contaminated steroid shot while the other clinics had some of their products recalled on Tuesday since they were produced at the same New England company. Those clinics include:
Dr. Michael Nordlund is the Medical Director at the Cincinnati Eye Institute in Blue Ash, one of the clinics in the area that had medicines that came from the New England Compounding Center recalled.
"The risk for infection is very very low, especially if the surgery was done more than 30 days ago," Nordlund said.
The recalled medicine at the eye clinic was used to control inflammation during surgery.
"There's really only patients in a one week period where we expect there might be an infection," he said. "The others are far enough out if there was going to be an infection, we would have thought we would have seen it by now."
Public Information Officer with the Hamilton County Health Department Mike Samet said he hasn't seen any cases linked to these clinics just yet.
"The risk of fungal meningitis is not present in drugs that are not injected," Samet said.
However, you could get a localized fungal infection through topical or oral medicines that are contaminated.
"We're watching symptoms very closely. You'll be working with your physicians very closely," he said. You'll be contacted by anyone in the Tri-State region who may have administered the medication. It's now off the shelves, anything produced by NECC by May 21 of this year."
Dr. Nordlund is in the process of contacting between 200 and 300 patients at his clinic that are at highest risk.
"It is concerning and disheartening that we have to deal with this but we're optimistic that this won't have adverse outcomes for our patients," he said.
The Ohio Department of Health is urging all health care providers to follow up with patients who received the tainted injections since May of this year. The Food and Drug Administration compiled a list of products distributed from the New England pharmacy to facilities in Ohio that possibly contain fungal meningitis.
"We are working with health care providers to reach out to patients, but we need two-way communication,” said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, director at ODH. “At this time, ODH does not have a count on the number of patients that received drugs in the expanded recall list. Since this investigation is changing so rapidly, it’s critical that Ohioans who received these injections or solutions be informed and watch closely for any change in how they are feeling.”
For a complete list of all Ohio facilities that received the tainted injection visit http://media2.wcpo.com/pdfs/OH_facilities.pdf .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.