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1st Case of Meningitis Reported in Idaho

Flickr.com, Montage Communications

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho health officials say an eastern Idaho man has been diagnosed with fungal meningitis after receiving a steroid injection commonly used to treat back pain. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said this is the first Idaho illness linked to a national outbreak that has sickened an estimated 138 people from 11 states. So far, 12 people have died.

The medication, made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts, has been recalled. Two Idaho facilities received shipments of the recalled injections, and both used the medication to treat patients before the recall was announced. Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett gave the shots to four people, and Pain Specialists of Idaho in Idaho Falls treated 35 people with the injections.

(AP)-Long before the current rash of fungal meningitis, the compounding pharmacy suspected in the outbreak settled a lawsuit alleging it produced a tainted shot that caused a man’s death in 2004. Officials have identified Framingham, Mass., based-New England Compounding Center as the source of steroid shots suspected in the outbreak of rare fungal meningitis that has killed at least 12 people and made more than 130 others sick in 11 states. Allegations of a shot tainted with a different form of meningitis were at the heart of a lawsuit filed against the company over the 2004 death. An 83-year-old man died about a year and a half after receiving a shot produced by the company.

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