Doctors say this area is not at risk for fungal meningitis - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Doctors say this area is not at risk for fungal meningitis

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LEWISBURG, W. Va (WVVA)-- As the fungal meningitis outbreak spreads to more states and into Virginia, doctors told WVVA Monday some of their patients are worried.

But they say this type of meningitis is not contagious.

It's fungal meningitis, and it comes from a particular lab in Massachusetts where it was distributed around the country. But according to physicians, there is not much cause for concern.

"The risk is very low for people in this area. If you have not had an epidural steroid injection, I would say there is no reason to be worried," said James Cribs, D. O. 

Cribs administers epidural steroids for back pain treatment regularly. He cautioned, "If you have had an epidural steroid injection, and you're concerned, I would certainly call your doctor," he said.

"Thankfully, they've been able to identify which pharmaceutical company distributed this and what lot numbers it comes from," said Cribs. 

He said this way, clinics can check their medications against those numbers to see if they have been administering any of the infected medicines. 

"We don't have any of that medication here [at the Robert C. Byrd Clinic in Lewisburg]," he said, "We feel confident that all of our patients are safe from this." He told WVVA he had given two epidural steroid injections on Monday and the patients were safe.

Meningitis symptoms are headaches and fever, especially, but also pain in extremities such as your legs, stiffness in the neck, and other neurological signs.

Cribs recommends that if you have had an epidural steroid injection within the past few months and exhibit the above symptoms, contact the agency that gave you the medication.

"They should be able to check and see if it was one of the infected lot numbers," said Cribs.

He stressed that even if you are concerned about meningitis, you should not avoid getting the steroid if your doctor has recommended it. The bad drugs have been recalled and should not be in use anymore.

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