Meningitis update: Case count at 41 in Michigan; 34 being treated at Ann Arbor area hospitals
Confirmed cases of fungal meningitis continue to surface in Michigan, as the number increased by two to 41 Friday afternoon, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Hospital officials said Friday 33 patients are undergoing treatment at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor — an increase of two cases from the number reported Thursday — and one remains under treatment at the University of Michigan Health System.A federal investigation into a compounding facility in Massachusetts suspected of shipping out injectable steroids tainted with fungus to 23 states escalated a week ago. Michigan health officials, with the help of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, confirmed the first six cases of fungal meningitis in the state Oct. 5.
The case count has been rising ever since.
The majority of the cases in Michigan continue to be treated at St. Joseph Mercy hospital: Overall, the hospital has had 36 confirmed cases associated with the fungal meningitis outbreak. Among those patients is one who was discharged, another who was discharged to hospice care and later died and one with a fungal infection in a joint who is still being treated at the hospital, said spokeswoman Lauren Smoker.
The University of Michigan Health system has only treated two cases. One is a patient who died from fungal meningitis at the end of September and the other who remains a patient there.
All three people who died from fungal meningitis in Michigan were patients who had received injections from Michigan Pain Specialists in Brighton, one of four facilities in the state that received a shipment from the New England Compounding Center that is subject to the investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Michigan Pain Specialists has reported that about 875 patients had received injections of the contaminated steroid for joint and back pain. Thursday, the facility said it had made contact with all of the patients who received epidural injections — as they are the most at risk for contracting meningitis.
Injections of the contaminated steroid to joints only put patients at risk for a fungal infection, health officials have stated.
Nationwide, about 14,000 people are at risk for infection from the contaminated steroids. Across 12 states, the number of confirmed cases of fungal meningitis was 185 as of Friday, including 14 deaths and one fungal joint infection.