Ohio gets first case of fungal meningitis

Associated Press


The rare fungal meningitis outbreak that has killed seven people and sickened more than 60 across several states has now been found in Ohio.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday it has confirmed one case in Ohio, although it did not say where. The Ohio Department of Health said a 65-year-old man had been sickened, but it would not release his name or hometown to protect his identity.

The man’s illness likely was caused by a tainted steroid injection from a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts that has been linked to the outbreak in other states, the Ohio health department said.

Federal health officials fear thousands could have been exposed. The latest cases were confirmed in Minnesota and Ohio.

The CDC has said inspectors found at least one sealed vial contaminated at the Massachusetts company. It’s not yet clear how the fungus got into the steroid, which commonly is used to treat back pain.

The steroid has been recalled, and officials have told health professionals not to use anything made by the pharmacy.

Four health-care clinics in Ohio used the recalled steroid injection.

The facilities are Ortho-Spine Rehab Center in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, Cincinnati Pain Management, Marion Pain Clinic and BKC Pain Specialists, also in Marion.

The state health department has said the facilities were working to contact patients who received the steroid injection.

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