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Pennsylvania Identifies First Meningitis Case Linked To Outbreak

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(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) —-  Pennsylvania has recorded its first case of fungal meningitis linked to a national outbreak from contaminated medication.

Two clinics in Pennsylvania are known to have received shipments of specific lots of steroid medication blamed for the national outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Now, a patient of one of those facilities, in Altoona, Pa., has been identified as having the disease.

Dr. Stephen Ostroff, Pennsylvania’s acting physician general, says all the patients who were potentially exposed at the Altoona facility and the South Hills Pain Clinic, in Allegheny County, have been contacted.

But Ostroff says that doesn’t mean Pennsylvania is out of the woods yet.

“The experience in some of the other locations that have seen more cases is that can take up to one to two months for illness to develop,” he notes, “so we’ll be periodically contacting these patients.”

Ostroff could not provide details of the one case of fungal meningitis but said the person is being “treated appropriately.”

Fifteen people across the US have died from the illness associated with steroid shots for back pain. The medication, made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts, was recalled last month.

More than 200 people in 14 states have been sickened.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

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