Georgians might have been exposed to meningitis

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 7:35 PM
Last updated 7:37 PM
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ATLANTA -- Health authorities in Georgia are notifying more than 150 patients who may have received medication produced by a specialty pharmacy tied to a meningitis outbreak, officials said Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified Georgia officials that one facility in the state received a shipment of steroids from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., Georgia Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said.

Nydam would not identify the facility, but said it was located in middle Georgia. So far, no one has reported becoming ill in the state. Georgia is one of 23 states that received shipments from the pharmacy.

"We have no known cases or symptoms," Nydam said.

The Georgia facility was alerted to the problem by the CDC and has been contacting patients who may have received doses of contaminated drugs. State health officials are assisting in the effort to contact those patients.

Investigators this week found contamination in a sealed vial of the steroid at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., according to Food and Drug Administration officials. Tests are under way to determine if it is the same fungus blamed in the outbreak that has sickened 35 people in six states. Five of them have died. All received steroid shots for back pain.

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