Illinois’ second case of fungal meningitis was confirmed over the weekend. A Chicago area resident was diagnosed with meningitis after receiving a spinal steroid injection at an APAC Center for Pain Management. The injection the patient received was one of the recalled injections from the New England Compounding Center. This is the second case of fungal meningitis in Illinois.
The tragic news of a second Illinois case comes as we are learning more about additional complications people are having once being successfully treated for meningitis. Doctors are reporting that patients who have been successfully treated are now returning with serious brain infections. The first involves pus filled sacs of fluid around the spine, and the second more serious infection is inflammation of the tissue around the nerve roots coming out of the spine.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation suspended the New England Compounding Center’s pharmacy license in October. However, there were concerns years earlier. From 1999 on there were multiple allegations that the pharmacy was ignoring state regulations. In 2004 the company received a very light reprimand, but was not suspended or placed on probation.
Nationally, 29 people have died from this preventable outbreak of meningitis and over 400 have been diagnosed. If you believe you may have received one of these injections please see a physician as soon as possible.