• Ga. center got steroids tied to meningitis


    ATLANTA - A surgery center in Macon administered steroids to 189 people using drugs that have been tied to a nationwide meningitis outbreak blamed for five deaths.

     Health officials said Friday that the Forsyth Street Ambulatory Surgery Center received steroids produced by New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

     The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found contamination this week in a sealed vial of the steroid at the company. Tests are under way to determine if it is the same fungus blamed in the outbreak.

     Dr. J. Patrick O'Neal, director of Georgia's division of health protection, said 160 of the patients who received the drug in Macon have been contacted. None have tested positive for meningitis, though O'Neal said it can take an extended time for the disease to manifest itself.

     O’Neal told Channel 2’s Diana Davis his team was working to contact the remaining patients.

     Six patients had reported mild symptoms like headaches, but all six had the symptoms before the injection, O’Neal said.

     Officials said they remain very optimistic because no one else in Georgia received the injection, but they will continue to monitor the situation.

    The CDC said that a total of 47 cases in 7 states have been found to be consistent with the fungal infection.

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