Georgia received steroids from company tied to meningitis - New York News

Georgia received steroids from company tied to meningitis

Doses of the steroid linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak were distributed in Georgia. There have been no reported cases of the illness in the state, but officials are working to warn those who could be at risk.

Several batches of the steroid medication originating from a Massachusetts pharmacy are now linked to a rare and deadly form of meningitis.  Five people have died and 30 others have gotten sick.

The medicine was shipped to 75 clinics in Georgia and 22 other states.

Dr. John Jernigan, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the CDC is working with state health officials to contact people who may have received a shot from the tainted lots.

"To contact them, let them know if they have any symptoms that they should seek medical attention," said Jernigan.

Meningitis can cause fever, a headache and nausea, but mild cases may only trigger redness and swelling at the injection site.

Dr. David Schiff at Peachtree Orthopedic Clinic saw 17 patients on Thursday that needed steroid injections to alleviate back pain.

"Thousands of these are being done every day around the country - it's a very common procedure," said Schiff.

Schiff said that he's received numerous concerned phone calls, but the steroid medicine they use is not from the affected pharmacy.

"I think when word came out, a lot of our patients who have had injections were concerned whether they received the tainted medication. Everyone's calling wanting to know if they had it or not," said Schiff.

Schiff says he'll continue to reassure his patients that he shots they've received are not connected to this health scare.

"This is very rare. The risk of meningitis from spinal injection is extraordinary rare and to have this kind of outbreak really gets everyone's attention," said Schiff.

Illnesses and deaths have been reported in Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida and Indiana.

Doctors say if you have symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

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