Pennsylvania patients seeking relief for back pain, may have gotten more than they bargained for in their steroid injections.
According to many health news sites, those that have recently took steroid injections may be at risk for a rare form of fungal meningitis. As of Sunday, the illness had taken at least five lives in the U.S. after the patients were given a contaminated steroid medication.
Three have died in Tennessee, one in Maryland and one in Virginia according to reports. Four more now have the illness in Tennessee, bringing a national total to 39 in six different states as of Oct. 5.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the steroids have been shipped to 23 states, including Pennsylvania, causing concern that more illness may break out.
A full list of locations that may have been shipped the contaminated steroids is available here on the CDC Web site. Most known locations in the state seem to center in the areas of Altoona and Jefferson Hills, Pa., though more are being tested this week.
The CDC fears several hundreds may be at risk in each state where the medication was shipped. The shelf-life of the New England Compounding Center Inc.-produced tainted steroids shipped from Framingham, Mass. on Sept. 27 was 180 days.
Those that fear they may have received the methylprednisolone acetate injection should contact the CDC at 800-232-4636. The injections are commonly given for back pain.