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Michigan confirms more fungal meningitis cases

UPDATE: As of Oct. 12, Michigan’s case count of individuals associated with the multistate meningitis investigation is 41 cases total, including one epidural abscess, one joint infection, 39 cases of meningitis, and three deaths.


The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a multi-state investigation of cases of fungal meningitis among patients who received epidural steroid injections. Michigan currently has 29 confirmed cases associated with this outbreak, including three deaths. As of Oct. 10, 137 cases and 12 deaths have been reported from 10 states.

As this is a developing investigation, the number of cases is expected to increase. The age range of current identified cases is 46-89 years old. Of the three deaths, all were females, and included a 56-year-old from Genesee County; a 67-year-old from Livingston County; and a 78-year-old from Washtenaw County.

According to the Kent County Health Department, no cases have been reported in Kent County, but they want doctors to be aware.

“While no cases of fungal meningitis have been reported in Kent County, we want to make all care providers aware of the outbreak,” said Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department. “We want to be sure that every effort is made to identify patients who may have received this injection.”

All cases are linked to the four facilities in Michigan that received a potentially contaminated product, suspected to be the cause of the outbreak.

Interim data show that infected patients received an injection with one of three lots of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate prepared by the New England Compounding Center (NECC), located in Framingham, Mass.

The four Michigan facilities that received shipments of these recalled lots are working with MDCH to notify patients who may have received this product between May and October and may be at risk for developing illness. The facilities are:

  • Michigan Neurosurgical Institutes in Grand Blanc
  • Michigan Pain Specialists in Brighton
  • Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation in Traverse City
  • Southeast Michigan Surgical Hospital in Warren

These fungal infections are not transmitted person-to-person. Infected patients have become ill approximately one to four weeks following their injection with a variety of symptoms.  Patients who received epidural injections have presented with symptoms including fever, new or worsening headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, and/or a new neurological deficit such as weakness or numbness, consistent with deep brain stroke. Those receiving joint injections may present with increasing pain, redness or swelling at injection site. Some patients’ symptoms were very mild in nature.

Any individual who received a steroid injection at one of the four Michigan facilities and is experiencing the symptoms described above should immediately contact their physician or seek medical attention. Additional information about the Michigan investigation can be found at www.michigan.gov/mdch. For more information about the CDC investigation, visit www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis.html.


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