SC has 'probable' case of meningitis linked to outbreak - FOX Carolina 21

SC has 'probable' case of meningitis linked to outbreak

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBIA, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

Health officials said they have the first fungal meningitis case reported in South Carolina probably linked to the nationwide outbreak.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said the South Carolina resident's meningitis is potentially linked to the contaminated product called methylprednisolone acetate. They said the case is associated with a physician's practice in the Charleston area.

Health officials are waiting for additional laboratory testing to confirm the diagnosis of fungal meningitis and to rule out other potential causes of meningitis. At this time, officials said the case is considered probable.

"The patient is being treated with anti-fungal medications based on treatment guidelines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," said Dr. Linda Bell, M.D. and interim state epidemiologist. "Fungal meningitis poses no additional risk to others, as it is not transmitted from person to person."

One clinic in South Carolina received a possibly tainted supply of the medication, DHEC officials said Oct. 5. DHEC refused to release the name or location of the clinic, saying it did nothing wrong. Officials said they had notified patients who got spinal steroid injections from the clinic to discuss their health and the symptoms of meningitis.

DHEC said residents don't need to worry unless they have heard from the clinic or the agency.

In the Upstate, St. Francis Health Systems said they received medicine from New England Compounding Center, but not the meningitis-linked injections. Those medications have since been pulled, and they're working on notifying patients, according to Dr. Frank Smeeks, MD and chief medical officer for St. Francis Health System.

Nationally, 317 cases of fungal meningitis have been identified as of Thursday and there have been 24 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are coordinating the multi-state meningitis investigation.

The Massachusetts-based company has recalled the contaminated steroid shots along with all of their other medications as a result of the outbreak.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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