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DHHS Confirms North Carolina Death In Meningitis Outbreak

 

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
For Release: Immediate
Date: October 20, 2012
Contact: Julie Henry, 919-855-4840 or Julie.Henry@dhhs.nc.gov

State Health Director Laura Gerald has confirmed that a Davidson County resident died on Friday from complications of meningitis as part of a multistate outbreak. As of October 20, 281 cases of fungal meningitis have been identified nationwide as part of the outbreak investigation, including two in North Carolina. Twenty-three individuals have died. The illnesses were found to be caused by fungi that are common in the environment but rarely cause meningitis. This form of meningitis is not contagious.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family on the loss of their loved one,” Gerald said. “Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”

Another North Carolina resident remains in treatment, but is no longer hospitalized.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health continues to work with other state and federal agencies to investigate the outbreak of fungal infections involving patients who have received a steroid injection with a potentially contaminated product, methylprednisolone acetate, produced by a single compounding pharmacy, New England Compounding Center (NECC). The steroid product was voluntarily recalled by the company on September 26, 2012. All North Carolina providers listed as having received the recalled steroid product have been notified and all North Carolina patients who received these products for epidural injection or any other use have been individually contacted and referred for care if needed.

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