Fungal-meningitis probe expands to Arkansas
Posted: October 17, 2012 at 12:08 p.m.
LITTLE ROCK An investigation into a recent outbreak of fungal meningitis has expanded into Arkansas, with the main concern being products from the New England Compounding Center that may have been sent to local medical centers.
Products from the New England Compounding Center, a specialty compounding pharmacy based in Massachusetts, are believed to be a possible reason for the outbreak. Fungus has been found in at least 50 vials of an injectable steroid medication made there, The Associated Press has reported.
According to a news release, the Arkansas Department of Health is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to locate any products from the NECC sent to hospitals and medical centers around the state and having them removed.
The actions are being taken strictly as a precautionary measure, state Health Department Deputy Director Nate Smith said in a statement.
“Right now, we don’t have any clear association with any human illnesses, but the FDA is taking action out of concern that there could be additional infections,” Smith said.
As a result, the Health Department is contacting any hospitals and asking them to remove any injectable or implantable compounds they have not used.
While the outbreak of meningitis has occurred across several states, this form is not believed to be contagious.