Fungal meningitis scare has many people worried - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Fungal meningitis scare has many people worried

Posted: Updated:
  • HealthMore>>

  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.More >>
    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.More >>
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to epidural steroid shots for back pain, is now blamed for 297 illnesses in 16 states, and 23 deaths. And while none of the contaminated injections made their way to Mississippi, patients are still concerned.

Doctors on the coast continue to get bombarded with phone calls and questions, with some patients even canceling their appointments.

Dr. Joe Chen, MD, is a pain management specialist and anesthesiologist. On an average day, he gives more than 20 of the steroid injections to help patients in need of pain relief.

"We put steroids in people to help alleviate pain. Greater than 70 million Americans suffer chronic pain, so that's one in four."

He added that it's even more prevalent on the coast because of "the large retired population, and as we age we develop a lot of back pain."

In recent weeks he's been getting a lot of questions about those injections from his patients.

"I've been doing injections all day long today, and I think almost every one of my patients has asked me that question, 'Are you using the medication that's been in the news?'"

The steroid injections continue to make headlines almost daily as more cases keep cropping up. Some of the latest were in neighboring Alabama, from patients who had the injections in Tennessee. But Dr. Chen says patients who receive the shots in Mississippi have nothing to worry about.

"I just alleviate their fears and say, 'No, we're not using that here.' None of the facilities I know of are in the state of Mississippi."

Criminal investigators, along with the FDA and CDC, continue with their investigation into the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts (NECC) that manufactured the contaminated product. Dr. Chen says the NECC products don't follow the same strict guidelines as the sources he uses.

"The meds we order are FDA regulated. It's very stringent how they are monitored. And the case in the news, well, that wasn't the case."

As far as the latest on the contaminated NECC product, investigators are now trying to determine which patients who received it might be at greatest risk. A new finding shows that one of the three lots in question is causing the most damage.

Fourteen thousand people received the tainted pain shots. And since the incubation period is anywhere from a few days to a few months, many of those patients are still at risk.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.