1st fungal meningitis case reported in NJ

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm •  Published: October 9, 2012

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey on Tuesday reported its first case of fungal meningitis in an outbreak tied to a steroid medication made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts.

State health officials said the patient is a 70-year-old Cumberland County man who first went to the hospital Thursday.

The patient, who was not identified, received an injection of the steroid medication on Sept. 26 from Premier Orthopedics Surgical Associates in Vineland, prior to the office receiving notification the drug was being recalled, said Donna Leusner, a state Health Department spokeswoman.

Health officials said he is recovering at SouthJersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center in Vineland, where he first sought treatment and is receiving anti-fungal medication. He had been suffering from headaches and a fever.

New Jersey became the 10th state to report at least one case of fungal meningitis. As of Tuesday, the outbreak had sickened at least 119 and resulted in 11 deaths, federal health officials reported.

The outbreak has been linked to steroid shots given for back pain. The company recalled the steroid, which was sent to clinics in 23 states, and later recalled everything it makes.

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