9:19 AM AKDT, October 5, 2012
A case of fungal meningitis has been confirmed in Elkhart, Ind. following a statewide recall of contaminated medication used to treat chronic back pain.
Jamie Wrigley, director of marketing at OSMC Surgery Center in Elkhart, said test results received Friday confirmed a patient contracted the rare illness.
Health officials announced Thursday that patients in 23 states could have been exposed to the tainted medications. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 35 people in six states meet the criteria for having a fungal infection. A total of five deaths have been reported so far.
Indiana State Department of Health spokesman Ken Severson said Friday a total of three cases have been confirmed in Indiana. It is unclear where in Indiana the two other cases are.
The medication, called methylprednisolone acetate, was sent to six Indiana health facilities located in Evansville, Ft. Wayne, Elkhart, South Bend, Terre Haute and Columbus.
The sickened patients were injected with a steroid made by the Massachusetts-based company New England Compounding Center.