State reports two more cases of fungal meningitis - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Breaking News

State reports two more cases of fungal meningitis - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Breaking News

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State reports two more cases of fungal meningitis

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:52 am | Updated: 4:11 pm, Wed Jan 23, 2013.

New Jersey’s Department of Health and Senior Services is reporting two more cases of fungal meningitis in the state.

One case involves a 48-year-old woman from Salem County, while the other involves an 87-year-old woman from Sussex County.

That brings the number of fungal meningitis cases in New Jersey to 48. State health officials list the conditions of all 48 patients as “recovering.” The outbreak has caused no deaths in the state.

All the cases are linked to injections of a potentially tainted steroid medication produced by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

The Salem County woman received her injection at Premier Orthopedic Surgical Associates in Vineland on Sept. 12, according to state health officials. Health officials do not identify the patients.

Forty-four of the injections linked to the state’s fungal meningitis cases were administered at Premier or South Jersey Regional Medical Center in Vineland. Officials with Premier and the medical center have said they had no idea the medication, which is generally used for chronic pain relief, was allegedly tainted when they administered the injections.

The medication was recalled in September.

State Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman Dawn Thomas said Wednesday that department officials cannot tell with any certainty when the fungal meningitis outbreak will subside. Part of that is because the disease has a long incubation period, she said.

However, department officials have noticed that the number of cases seemed to be in decline for the past month, she said.

Department records show that the last cases before this week — involving two Cumberland County residents and one person from Salem County — were reported Dec. 20.

The records also show that 35 of the 48 cases involve Cumberland County residents.

Contact Thomas Barlas:

609-226-9197

TBarlas@pressofac.com

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