Thursday, October 11, 2012
A rare meningitis outbreak, traced back to contaminated steroid shots made in Massachusetts, continues to spread.
So far, 170 people have gotten sick and 14 have died.
The Kansas Department of Health says none of those tainted injections made their way to Kansas, but that didn't stop patients here from panicking when the news first broke.
In the eight years she's been suffering from chronic back pain, Stephanie Cottner has received a lot of steroid injections.
"So that I can walk normal, get out of bed in the morning, it's part of functioning,” Cottner said.
In just the past two months, Cottner has gotten five shots. The last one, came one day before she found about the national meningitis outbreak that's been linked to tainted steroid injections.
"Worried. Was I going to be affected by it? What were the symptoms I needed to look out for?” Cottner said.
Cottner wasn't the only one worried, the doctors at Advanced Pain Medicine Associates use their fair share of steroid injections to treat patients.
“Daily basis and a high volume,” Dr. Jared Scott said.
And since the news of the meningitis outbreak broke, the clinic has been flooded with phone calls.
"People have been calling in daily and that volume has been increasing as the number of people getting ill and deaths unfortunately has been increasing,” Dr. Scott said.
According to the Kansas Department of Health, of the 11 states affected by the outbreak: Kansas is not one them.
"We get daily updates that there were no reported cases in Kansas and that the steroid was not shipped to any facilities in Kansas, at least not currently,” Dr. Scott said.