State: No drugs linked to outbreak shipped to Oregon

State: No drugs linked to outbreak shipped to Oregon
A vial of injectable steroids from the New England Compounding Center is displayed in the Tennessee Department of Health in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012. The CDC has said an outbreak of fungal meningitis may have been caused by steroids from the Massachusetts specialty pharmacy. (AP Photo/Kristin M. Hall)

PORTLAND, Ore. – An epidural steroid medication linked 105 fungal meningitis cases and 11 deaths across the country was not shipped to Oregon, state health officials said.

A spokesman with the Oregon Health Authority said there have been no cases of fungal meningitis or strokes in Oregon that are linked to the national outbreak.

Eleven clinics in Oregon have received other products from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., including steroids and anesthetics, but none of them are from the lots implicated in the outbreak, health officials said.

The New England Compounding Center voluntarily recalled all of its products nationwide, and the Public Health Division contacted clinics to let them to pull the manufacturer's steroid products off their shelves.

“Until this investigation is complete, all clinics should remove these products immediately,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., of the Public Health Division.

It is not yet known exactly how many people may have been affected by the outbreak, but it could affect hundreds or even thousands of people who received the steroid injections for back pain from July to September.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is coordinating a multi-state investigation.

Officials said this form of meningitis is not contagious.

Health Authority officials say patients who have any of the following symptoms should seek emergency medical care as soon as possible:

•    Worsening headache
•    Fever
•    Sensitivity to light
•    Stiff neck
•    New weakness or numbness in any part of your body
•    Slurred speech

Several patients have also had strokes related to their meningitis.

The epidural steroid associated with the national outbreak is not the same as the epidural injections given to pregnant women during child birth, health officials said.

More information:

•    CDC meningitis outbreak website
•    CDC fungal diseases website
•    CDC fungal meningitis website