Cases of Infection on Rise in Tennessee and MichiganCases of infections resulting from the tainted steroids from the New England Compounding Center appear to be on the rise, according to health officials in Tennessee and Michigan.
The new infections aren’t fungal meningitis, but epidural abscesses—collections of pus on the bones of the scull or the spine that can lead to fungal meningitis if left untreated. There have been 37 new cases of abscesses in Michigan and 23 in Tennessee.
Although health officials stress that these abscesses aren’t life threatening, they can potentially cause serious problems, like chronic back pain, incontinence, an abscess on the spinal cord itself and bone infections.
Fortunately, because the Tennessee and Michigan patients who have received the epidural injections of contaminated steroid were under more or less constant medical supervision, these abscesses were detected early, so the prognosis is generally positive. However, epidural abscesses are difficult to detect with the naked eye at the early stages. Symptoms of spinal epidural abscesses are bladder and bowel incontinence, back pain, fever, weakness and difficulty moving a particular part of the body (depending upon where the abscess is located.)