Mason County woman may have contracted meningitis


October 10, 2012

HARTFORD — A Mason County woman has possibly contracted the rare form of fungal meningitis related to tainted steroid injections, according to multiple media outlets.

Paula Cunningham of Hartford reportedly received the injection at PARS Interventional Pain in Parkersburg for a work injury, again, according to media outlets.

Cunningham was reportedly at the Cleveland Clinic where she was tested for and received treatment for the fungal meningitis. She is said to be improving.

As The Point Pleasant Register reported on Wednesday, there was zero probability patients being treated at Pleasant Valley Hospital received the tainted injections and no other health care facility in the Mason, Meigs or Gallia county area were listed as receiving the tainted injections.

However, as Tonya McGuire, epidemiologist for both the Meigs and Gallia County Health Departments said earlier this week, she didn’t want to give the impression it was impossible for someone in our area to be in the “unfortunate situation” of receiving one of the contaminated injections, simply because patients now travel distances for their medical care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the facilities that received the contaminated products from the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass.

Those facilities which did receive the tainted injections in Ohio and W.Va. have been identified as being BKC Pain Specialists, LLC, of Marion, Ohio; Cincinnati Pain Management of Cincinnati, Ohio; Marion Pain Clinic of Marion; Ortho Spine Rehab Center, Inc., of Dublin, Ohio; and PARS Interventional Pain of Parkersburg, W.Va.

The CDC also states, patients have had symptoms generally starting from one to four weeks after their injection. Not all patients who received the medicine will become sick. Symptoms that should prompt patients to seek medical care include: fever, new or worsening headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, new weakness or numbness, increasing pain, redness or swelling of the injection site.

As for Wednesday evening, there had been 12 deaths from this form of fungal meningitis as well as 137 confirmed cases in 10 states.