Meningitis Attention in Kentucky

Oct 5, 2012

An outbreak of meningitis in states neighboring Kentucky is also attracting attention in the Commonwealth.   The meningitis cases appear to be tied to contaminated steroid injections, with the biggest outbreak in the Nashville area.   University of Kentucky Infectious Disease Pharmacy Specialist Craig Martin says no shipments of the tainted drug came to Kentucky.  He says these cases of meningitis should not raise red flags about the potential for contamination in other oral medications for example.

“It appears that patients got injected with a contaminated product directly into their spinal column which is, again, an entirely different scenario than when you take an oral medication,” said Martin.

While a tainted vaccine was not shipped to the Commonwealth, it’s still possible a Kentuckian has been infected with meningitis.  Martin says Kentuckians who sought care in neighboring states may be at risk.

“It’s certainly possible that a Kentuckian might receive treatment in Tennessee or Indiana or West Virginia.  If that’s the case, if they are going to a specific pain treatment center for this specific indication, I think it’s certainly reasonable for that person to ask if they have received any of these lots from this manufacturer of this medication,” added Martin.

Martin says this form of meningitis is not passed on from one person to another.