An eastern Idaho man older than age 60 who received an epidural steroid injection in September has been diagnosed with a non-contagious fungal meningitis. The illness is the first in Idaho believed to be linked to a national outbreak from potentially contaminated steroid injections, said the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
The outbreak is under investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 138 people from 11 states, now including Idaho, have been diagnosed with fungal meningitis linked to the injections usually given to patients with back pain. Twelve deaths have been reported.
The recalled injections were created by a now-closed compounding center in Massachusetts. Two Idaho health centers Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett and Pain Specialists of Idaho in Idaho Falls received shipments of the injections after July 1. The injections were given to four people at Walter Knox and 35 at the Idaho Falls pain clinic.
Updates on the man's condition cannot be made public because of federal privacy laws. He is being treated for the illness.
We are very concerned for this patient and are working closely with his physicians, said Idaho State Epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn. We urge patients who received injections from either of these facilities to maintain close contact with their medical providers and notify them if any new symptoms develop over the next few weeks. Symptoms may include a new or worsening headache, dizziness, fever, nausea and sensitivity to light. A number of affected people also had symptoms of stroke, such as weakness or difficulty speaking. Most illnesses are being reported one to four weeks after the injection was received. The illness is not transmitted from person to person.