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Sparta Doc Received Medication Linked to Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

Officials say 35 cases, including five deaths, reported in six states. No cases reported in New Jersey, according to state health commissioner.

A Sparta pain management doctor received medication linked to a deadly multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis, officials said Friday.

Dr. Richard Siegfried's office at 540 Lafayette Road was one of six facilities in New Jersey that received the possibly-contaminated epidural steroid injections, according to the state Department of Health.

A call to Siegfried's office Friday afternoon was not immediately returned.

About 1,000 New Jersey residents were injected with the medication, northjersey.com reported. 

"New Jersey currently has no cases associated with this outbreak, but this is an ongoing investigation and the full scope of the affected patients and facilities is not yet known," Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd said in a statement. "Health care facilities that received this medication have removed the product from inventory and are working to identify and notify all patients who might have received injections from the implicated lots."

"As the investigation continues, the number of affected patients and facilities could expand so any patient who has received an epidural steroid injection who has symptoms should reach out to their health care provider," O'Dowd said.

The full list of facilities released by the state is below:

  • Central Jersey Orthopedics Specialists, PC in South Plainfield
  • Edison Surgical Center, Edison
  • IF Pain Associates/Isaiah Florence, Teaneck
  • Premier Orthopedics Surgical Assoc, LLC, Vineland
  • Richard Siegfried, MD, Sparta
  • South Jersey Healthcare, Elmer and Vineland

“Facilities have or are in the process of reaching out to all of their patients. Persons who received an epidural injection at any of the above listed sites who have not been contacted should call the facility. The facility should be able to confirm whether patients received an injection from the affected batches of medication. Patients who are experiencing any symptoms should contact their health care provider who performed the procedure or be referred for medical evaluation,” according to the health department statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 35 cases, including five deaths, have been reported across six states. Symptoms can include fever, headache nausea and stiffness of the neck, according to the CDC. More information is available on the Center’s website.

Health officials said the form of meningitis is not contagious and the source of the outbreak has not been determined. 

"At this point, there is not enough evidence to determine the original source of the outbreak, however there is a link to an injectable steroid medication. The lots of medication that were given to patients have been recalled by the manufacturer," the CDC reported. 


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