Idaho Falls clinic receives steroid linked to meningitis outbreak

Meningitis Outbreak

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Shipments of an epidural steroid linked to an outbreak of meningitis were sent to 75 clinics in 23 states, and two Idaho facilities received the recalled drug.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare identified the facilities Friday as Idaho Falls-based Pain Specialists of Idaho and the Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett.

Agency spokesman Tom Shanahan said doctors at both locations are working to notify patients who may have received an injection of the recalled drug.

This outbreak targets patients who received epidural steroid injections after July 1, 2012.

Dr. Jason Poston of the Idaho Falls Pain Specialists said those who have not received an injection of the drug are not at risk for contracting meningitis from an infected person, as the disease is fungal.

Poston said the therapy can be very beneficial to patients who receive the drug for back pain. He added, "Personally, I am very heartbroken over this. We look for trusted sources to obtain medication."

Poston said they are taking this outbreak very seriously and urges patients who have received the injection and feel symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, fever and headaches to contact their health care providers.

At this point, there are no illnesses reported in Idaho patients who received the shots taken for back pain. Nationally, 47 people in seven states have been confirmed diagnosed with infection, and five have died from the rare fungal meningitis.

The shipment of the recalled drug was sent from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

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