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Alaska Beat

Meningitis outbreak hasn't struck in Alaska yet

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published October 7, 2012

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services issued a press release on Sunday confirming that Alaska is not one of the nine states where meningitis has been reported by the federal Centers of Disease Control among patients receiving spinal steroid injections.

Several of the patients had strokes related to the meningitis, which was caused by a fungus that is common but rarely causes the condition. Meningitis leads to inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges.

Health and Social Services said the company that distributed a medication associated with the meningitis outbreak in the Lower 48 – which has led to seven deaths -- has as a precaution recalled all products distributed from one of its facilities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said some of those products came to Alaska – even though none of the medication implicated in the meningitis outbreak has.

"Alaska has had no reported meningitis cases associated with the implicated product," State Epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin said in a press release. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will continue to monitor the situation and notify the public if any Alaska cases are identified.

The Alaska providers who received medications on the precautionary recall list have been notified to return them. For more information about the recall, click here.

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