HARRISBURG - The state Department of Health said Thursday that it is working closely with two pain clinics, including one in Altoona, to identify and contact patients who received a medication linked to cases of an unusual type of fungal meningitis in several other states.
The two clinics involved are Allegheny Pain Management in Altoona and South Hills Pain and Rehab Associates, with locations in Jefferson Hills, Bethel Park, Monessen and Brentwood.
The Allegheny County Health Department is also working with state officials regarding the South Hills Pain and Rehab Associates facilities.
No cases of illness related to the use of this medication have been identified in Pennsylvania, the health department said. Thirty-four cases and five deaths associated with the outbreak have been identified in six other states.
The disease outbreak has been linked to three separate lots of injectable, preservative-free methylprednisolone. The medication is only used for treatment of chronic pain, usually involving injection into an area around the spinal cord or into joints or muscles.
The lots in question were produced by a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts and shipped to 23 different states over the last several months. Any remaining medication was recalled by the company last week. The clinics in Pennsylvania are no longer using the medication from the Massachusetts pharmacy.
All patients who may have received injections from these lots are being directly contacted to identify any possible illness and assure they receive appropriate follow up, the state said.
Fungal meningitis is not transmitted from person-to-person, and there is no cause for concern to anyone in Pennsylvania who did not receive an injection of the medication.