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No meningitis cases reported in Alaska associated with multi-state outbreak


ANCHORAGE — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are coordinating a multi-state investigation of fungal meningitis among patients who received an epidural steroid injection (medication injected into the spine). According to CDC, Alaska is not one of the 23 states that have received this product.

Several patients in the Lower 48 who received the injections have had strokes related to the meningitis. In several patients, the meningitis was found to be caused by a fungus that is common in the environment but rarely causes meningitis. This form of meningitis is not contagious. The source of the fungus has not yet been identified, and the cause of infections in the other patients is still being assessed.

“Alaska has had no reported meningitis cases associated with the implicated product,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will continue to monitor the situation and notify the public if any Alaska cases are identified.

For more information about the outbreak, visit http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/outbreaks/meningitis.html.

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