NH DHHS Confirms First Cases in NH Associated with National Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is today announcing four

cases related to the national outbreak of fungal meningitis associated with

steroid medication produced by New England Compounding Center (NECC) of

Framingham, Massachusetts. The cases under investigation include 3 males

and 1 female, all between 40 and 60 years of age. All cases are under care

and are being monitored.

The medication believed to be linked to the illnesses here in New Hampshire

and nationwide are 3 lots of methylprednisolone acetate used for injections

for pain management. To date, nationally there have been 197 cases,

including 14 deaths in 15 states.

NECC has voluntarily recalled all products it produced since January of

2012. However, all cases so far have resulted after injections with

products from the original 3 lots.

“This has been a very difficult time for patients and healthcare providers

affected by this outbreak,” said New Hampshire’s Public Health Director Dr.

José Montero. “Our thoughts are with these patients and their families as

they deal with the complicated circumstances surrounding this unfortunate


In New Hampshire the medication believed to be related to this outbreak was

only distributed to Pain Care LLC’s Somersworth, Merrimack, and Newington

locations. Pain Care, LLC has identified 741 patients who may have been

exposed to the recalled product. DPHS is working with Pain Care, LLC to

ensure that all patients potentially exposed are notified.

Patients diagnosed with this infection as part of this outbreak may present

with fungal meningitis, epidural abscess, stroke or joint symptoms

associated with the injected medication. The investigation remains active

and information on cases continues to be gathered to understand the extent

of this outbreak.

There are many different types of meningitis, a general term for an

infection or inflammatory process involving the lining of the brain and

central nervous system. The cases under investigation have no relation to

the much more common forms of bacterial or viral meningitis. This

particular form of meningitis cannot be passed from person to person, but

can be very serious, even fatal.

Symptoms to be aware of include: headache, fever, nausea, stiff neck and

sensitivity to light and in this type of meningitis symptoms may be or have

been mild in some cases. The CDC is recommending that patients who feel

ill with the above symptoms or have weakness or numbness in any part of the

body or slurred speech after receiving this medication should contact their

healthcare provider. Also patients who received injection of the medication

to joints should report to their provider if they have local symptoms

including increased pain, redness or warmth at the site of the injection.

For more information visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/hai  the DHHS

website at www.dhhs.nh.gov  or call the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease

Control at