Reporting Holly Wagner
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Even more people may be at risk of getting meningitis than initially thought. The FDA is warning that a second steroid is now linked to fungal meningitis.
Now, all injectables made by a Massachusetts company are suspect. Five cases of meningitis have been diagnosed in Minnesota. Fifteen people have died in other parts of the country.
This new warning from the FDA has Minnesota health officials concerned. They say 129 clinics in the state received injectable drugs from the New England Compounding Center (NECC) that could pose a risk of meningitis or other infections.
Staff from the MDH are in the process of alerting these clinics to make sure they contact patients who were given the injections. The FDA is urging patients who received the NECC products, and who have symptoms of possible meningitis, to contact their health care provider immediately.
The FDA is also warning doctors and health officials about the possibility of a contaminated injectable drug used during open heart surgery.
The alert came after a transplant patient in another state came down with meningitis.
The drug was also produced by the NECC, the same company under investigation for the contaminated steroids linked to the fungal meningitis outbreak.
The FDA is advising doctors to check in with any patients who may have received either type of injectable drug and in addition those patients who recently had eye surgery and received an injectable medication made by the company.
The FDA previously advised doctors and health officials to stop using any medication produced by the Massachusetts company.
It is not known how many patients in Minnesota are affected.