Four Cases of Meningitis in Florida... All in Marion County
Published October 8th, 2012
OCALA - The number of cases keeps rising. There are currently 105 reported cases of fungal meningitis in the United States.
Four of them are in Florida and all four patients live in marion county.
Three facilities in Ocala all used the contaminated medication that has caused the outbreak.
John Bledsoe, a patient at the Florida Pain Clinic in Ocala, said he's a little concerned.
Bledsoe use to receive back injections for his back pain, but not lately.
"It's been over a year since I've had any shots. I take pills now, no shots," said Bledsoe.
The Florida Pain Clinic is one of three facilities in Ocala that received shipment of the steroids from the New England Compound Center.
The steroids used for epidural back injections were contaminated with a fungus causing the recent outbreak.
Fungal meningitis affects the brain and spinal cord.
Florida Pain Clinic employee Kim Curran did not want to release how many people were injected with pain medicine, but she said they are contacting all their patients.
Marion Pain Management Center also received doses of the contaminated medicine.
"We received 300 recall doses of which we have none," said Lena Jedlicka, the center's practice administrator. "We have returned the remaining."
Jedlicka said this is the first time in 15 years the center's had any kind of medication recall and they are taking it very serious.
"Our patients come to us for us for their care and their health is our number one priority," Jedlicka said. "We take it very personal and we've attempted to contact and have contacted everybody who received a dose," said Jedlicka.
Marion County Health Officials said fungal meningitis is non-contagious, but are warning patients that this is a serious disease that can lead to death.
"We are encouraging people who may have received these injections in a pain clinic or a surgery center; if you have symptoms even very mild symptoms, please see your doctor, your physician, your health care professional and get checked out," said Marion County Spokesperson Craig Ackerman.
The Centers for Disease Contorl and Prevention is currently reporting eight deaths in the country. None of them are in Florida.
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