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Fort Wayne clinic says no patients at risk in meningitis outbreak

Friday, October 5, 2012 - 9:35 am

Officials with a Fort Wayne clinic that got medicine linked to a multi-state meningitis outbreak do not believe any of their patients could have contracted the deadly illness.

State health officials Thursday named Fort Wayne Physical Medicine, 5750 Coventry Lane, as one of six Indiana facilities that received medication believed to have infected at least 35 people across six states –killing five – with a rare form of fungal meningitis.

But a spokeswoman for Fort Wayne Physical Medicine said today the facility does not use the medicine, methylprednisolone acetate, for epidural injections in the lower back, which is how health officials have said victims likely were infected.

“We do not use methylprednisolone for epidurals,” said Donna Del Priore, a marketing manager for the clinic. “We’ve been in contact with the Indiana Board of Health and have been told none of our patients are at risk.”

Fort Wayne Physical Medicine uses the pain medication for injections in joints, not the back, Del Priore said.

Del Priore said the clinic started participating in a voluntary recall of the medicine after being informed of the tainted medicine Sept. 26 by its manufacturer, New England Compounding Center, based in Framingham, Mass.

State health officials have confirmed only one case in Indiana.

Neither Del Priore nor Ken Severson, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Health, knew exactly how many people may have gotten injections of the tainted medication in Fort Wayne. However, Del Priore said the clinic was working today to contact all the patients who got the injections.