No evidence of meningitis outbreak in South Dakota - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

No evidence of meningitis outbreak in South Dakota

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Numbers for the deadly, non-contagious fungal meningitis are on the rise. Health experts say they're not going down anytime soon.

The outbreak has now reached a total of 105 people, Monday night, in 9 different states. Three cases have been confirmed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Eight people have died.

The CDC has linked the fungal meningitis cases to a steroid used to treat patients' back pain. Health experts say sometime between July and September, more than 52,000 vials were shipped from a New England Compounding Center to 23 states nationwide.

Vials of the contaminated injections made their way to 76 health care centers.

South Dakota was not one of them.

Avera McKennan is one place where patients can seek treatment for back pain. Dr. Scott Lockwood regularly injects patients with injectable steroids but says fortunately, the medication in question did not reach any South Dakota health care providers.

Dr. Lockwood says the medication used at Avera is from a large pharmacy source that is highly regulated.

Though the effects on South Dakota are slim, the rising numbers can always be concerning.

"It's very worrisome. Not only do you have to worry about how contamination got into the medication but the fact that it's so widespread, and used so widespread, and the incubation period for this particular organism is rather long," Dr. Scott Lockwood said.

Health officials say the pharmacy involved, from Massachusetts, has recalled about 18,000 single-dose vials of the steroid injectable Methylprednisolone. Several are still unaccounted for.

Other medications recalled from that facility have not been linked to an outbreak.

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