|No cases of fungal meningitis linked to the New England Compounding Center’s tainted batch of steroid medicine have surfaced in Montana. And the two local hospitals report that no cases are expected in Flathead County among patients treated here.
Both Kalispell Regional Healthcare and North Valley Hospital announced Wednesday that their hospital-based pharmacies purchased none of the suspect products, either for in-house use or for redistribution to outlying clinics. The hospitals did purchase other products manufactured by NECC, none of which has the capacity to transmit this rare form of meningitis. Physicians who administered these other products will contact their patients personally within the next few days to answer any questions.
The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), public health agencies and private clinics in Montana are supporting the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recall of all products from the New England Compounding Center (NECC).
This recall is part of the on-going multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak that is being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA.
While there is no indication that contaminated products came to Montana, all products from NECC were recently recalled out of an abundance of caution.
No related illnesses have been identified in any Montana resident at this time.
To help ensure public health authorities and federal regulators become aware of any additional problems, clinicians who injected patients with any product from NECC are asked to notify these recipients and determine if any complications are present.
Pain reduction medications produced by NECC have been linked to 233 cases of fungal meningitis and 15 deaths in 15 states, according to the CDC.
Symptoms of meningitis may include a new or worsening headache, dizziness, fever, nausea, and sensitivity to light. A number of people who became ill also had symptoms of stroke, such as weakness or difficulty with speech. Most of the illnesses are being reported one to four weeks after the injection was received. This form of meningitis is not contagious.
Because the situation continues to develop as the FDA and CDC investigation expands, the list of products and clinics receiving products distributed by NECC may grow. Updated information is available at the DPHHS web site: www.dphhs.mt.gov