BY: Wesley Martin
Monday, October 15, the Escambia County Health Department held a press conference regarding the contaminated pain medication (methylprednisolone acetate) in spinal injections for back pain and in joint injections for joint pain. According to the Escambia County Health Department, Pain Consultants of West Florida is one of eight facilities in Florida that have received this medication that is said to have been administered to patients between July 8  – September 28 of this year.
According to John Lanza, Escambia County Health Department Director, Meningitis is the covering the brain by a fungal organism.
“In this case it’s an aspergillus species,” Lanza said.
The Florida Department of Health announced Tuesday that 1,038 patients in the state received one or more shots of contaminated pain medication distributed by pharmaceutical manufacturer New England Compounding Center’s (NECC) located in Framingham, Massachusetts.
The FDHO also announced on Tuesday that two additional cases of Meningitis had been confirmed totaling 12, including two deaths, for the state. The newest cases consist of a Marion County 74-year-old female patient and a 79-year-old woman in Escambia County. (The two received epidural back injections of contaminated methylprednisolone acetate.)
The Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, and the FDOH are currently investigating the outbreak that has affected 12 states.  On October 4, the FDA advised the medical community to not utilize any NECC products. At this time, NECC has recalled of all its products.
Symptoms of fungal joint infections of meningitis include: worsening of inflammatory symptoms on the treated joint including increased redness, warmth, swelling or pain, fever, new or worsening headache, and/or new symptoms consistent with stroke.

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