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CDC Responds to Multistate Outbreak of Fungal Meningitis and Other Infections

Information on this site is focused on the outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections linked to the use of injectable steroids from three recalled lots of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) distributed by the New England Compounding Center (NECC). See Current Situation archives for outbreak history.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with state and local health departments and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is investigating a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections among patients who received contaminated preservative-free MPA steroid injections from NECC.

New preliminary data, based on MRI findings in Michigan, Tennessee and North Carolina provide additional evidence that a substantial proportion of patients have developed a localized infection, including epidural abscess, phlegmon, arachnoiditis, discitis, or vertebral osteomyelitis following exposure to contaminated injections from NECC.

About the Outbreak

FDA Updates

  • The investigation includes fungal meningitis (a form of meningitis that is not contagious), localized spinal or paraspinal infections, and infections associated with injections in a peripheral joint space, such as a knee, shoulder, or ankle.
  • CDC has received reports of spinal epidural abscess and arachnoiditis among a number of patients undergoing treatment for fungal meningitis associated with the outbreak.
    • These conditions are rare but serious disorders that require prompt medical attention. CDC and public health officials are referring any patients who have symptoms that suggest possible infections to their physicians, who can evaluate them further.
  • The predominant fungus identified in patients continues to be Exserohilum rostratum. One patient, the index case, had a laboratory-confirmed Aspergillus fumigatus [JPG - 29 KB] infection. These fungi are common in the environment; fungal infections are not transmitted from person to person. For up-to-date laboratory results, see the Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Laboratory Testing and Results site.
  • Information about the investigation and guidance for clinicians, including interim treatment guidelines, is available at www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/clinicians/#Guidance. CDC recommendations are subject to change as more information becomes available.
  • Patients and clinicians need to remain vigilant for onset of symptoms because fungal infections can be slow to develop.

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Related Drug Recalls

Recalls of medications beyond the three lots of preservative-free MPA are ongoing. You can get more information about additional medical products from the New England Compounding Center here.

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