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Fungal Meningitis Outbreak in US, 2012

on Sun, 10/28/2012 - 22:27

On September 18, 2012, the Tennessee Department of Health was alerted by a clinician regarding a patient with culture-confirmed Aspergillus fumigatus meningitis diagnosed 46 days after epidural steroid injection at a Tennessee ambulatory surgical center. By September 27, the initial investigation, carried out by the Tennessee Department of Health in collaboration with CDC and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, had identified an additional eight patients with clinically diagnosed, culture-negative meningitis: seven in Tennessee and one in North Carolina. All nine patients had received epidural steroid injection with preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate solution (MPA), compounded at New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts. All nine patients had received one or more injections from three lots of MPA (lot numbers 05212012@68; 06292012@26; and 08102012@51). 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with state and local health departments and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is investigating a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak among patients who received contaminated steroid injections.  Several patients suffered strokes that are believed to have resulted from their infections.  The investigation also includes fungal infections associated with injections in a peripheral joint, such as a knee, shoulder or ankle. 

CDC and public health officials are referring any patients who have symptoms that suggest possible fungal infection to their physicians, who can evaluate them further.  Patients who received injections in peripheral joints only are not believed to be at risk for meningitis, but they could be at risk for joint infection. 

The purpose of this data visualizations is to monitoring the Fungal Meningitis outbreak in USA using data from the Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Investigation, conducted by CDC. Cases and deaths count are based on notification date and not on date of symptom onsets. 

The first case was reported on September 18, 2012 and uptoday, Monday, October 29, 2012, CDC has notified a total of 354 cases and 25 deaths, for a case fatality rate of 7% in 19 states of the country. Only four -California, Nevada, West Virginia and Connecticut- of the 23 states that received some of the medication have not reported cases of fungal meningitis.

Take a look at the interactive data visualization and explore the evolution over time and space of the outbreak. 

I will update data every day till the outbreak ends, so keep your eyes on it.

I appreciate very much any comments and suggestions.

P.S. The data visualization from this post was picked as Tableau Public Viz of the Day on October 31st, 2012

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