Meningitis cases linked to steroid

CHARLESTON – A state agency says there have been seven meningitis cases in West Virginia linked to a recalled steroid.

The Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services said the patients received shots of the steroid at the PARS Interventional Pain and Wellness Center in Parkersburg. It’s the only facility in West Virginia that received the steroid from a Massachusetts company, state officials said.

More than 200 patients received shots at the clinic.

In September 2012, a nationwide recall was placed on methylprednisolone acetate manufactured by the New Endland Compounding Center, according to a statement released Wednesday from PARS Pain Center in Parkersburg.

”This medication was utilized in our office for some procedures between Aug. 6, 2012 and Sept. 25, 2012,” the statement from PARS said. “All patients affected by this recall have been notified and provided with a phone number for around-the-clock direct access to their physician.”

As of April 3, 2013, the CDC has confirmed two cases of meningitis and five cases of paraspinal infection from medication administered at PARS, the statement said.

”The physicians and staff of PARS Pain Center remain committed to providing the highest quality, compassionate care to our patients,” the statement said. ”We continue to work diligently with the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health to follow the current CDC recommendations.

”Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to all patients and families affected by this terrible national tragedy,” the PARS statement said.

The steroid has been linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak in 20 states. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest figures show 51 people have died.

No deaths have occurred in West Virginia.