TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Four people in Florida currently have meningitis as a result of the tainted drugs distributed across the country, but state health officials are preparing for more cases.
The four patients have been hospitalized after receiving back or joint injections of the tainted drugs. Now state health officials say hundreds of Floridians may have received a tainted injection in recent months.
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Nationwide, 105 people have contracted meningitis. Eight have died.
The contaminated product was dispensed at six health facilities in Ocala, Orlando, Pensacola and Miami dating back to May 21.
Dr. Carina Blackmore of the Florida Department of Health says anyone who's received a back or joint injection in that time and feels sick, even with mild symptoms, should see a doctor.
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"The people who've received this drug, the three lots of this tainted drug, need to be very careful and if they become ill in any way, mild symptoms or severe symptoms. They need to get with a health care provider so they can be evaluated and treated appropriately."
The numbered contaminated lots are 05212012@68, 06292012@26 and 08102012@51. The lots are associated with a fungal meningitis outbreak. The illness is not contagious.
Dr. Blackmore says the Department of Health is tracking down suspected cases of meningitis and working with the six facilities that dispensed the tainted drugs.
"At this point, we have four cases in Florida that have developed the meningitis. But we're continuing that investigation. It is possible that we will see more cases over time, so we're working very closely with health care professionals to detect any cases that we might have."
The contaminated product is under a recall and facilities are required to send it to the Federal Drug Administration.
Dr. Blackmore says the symptoms can be very mild and include headache, coordination problems, or feeling sluggish.