State health officials Thursday reported the first probable case of fungal meningitis in South Carolina related to tainted steroid injections from a Massachusetts-based pharmacy.
The only South Carolina facility known to have used the steroid mixed at New England Compounding Co. is interveneMD, which has practices in Mount Pleasant and North Charleston. InterveneMD has reported that 78 local patients were treated for pain with epidural injections of methylprednisolone acetate.
InterveneMD and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control have contacted all of those patients. At least one apparently has come down with fungal meningitis symptoms.
The patient is being treated with antifungal medications based on treatment guidelines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Dr. Linda Bell, the interim state epidemiologist. Fungal meningitis poses no additional risk to others, as it is not transmitted from person to person.
Nearly 14,000 people in 23 states have been exposed to the contaminated steroid, and 317 cases of fungal meningitis and 24 death have been linked to it. The Charleston-area patient is only considered a probable case of fungal meningitis, according to a DHEC news release.
Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, altered mental status and difficulty walking, speaking or moving.