BY KIRAN SOOD ksood@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 529

Local hospitals say no meningitis scare here

Local facilities not supplied by likely source of disease

STERLING – Local hospital officials in Sterling and Dixon want patients to know they aren’t at risk for a disease that is making the news right now.

CGH Medical Center in Sterling and KSB Hospital in Dixon both said patients at each facility are not at risk of exposure to the meningitis.

CGH issued a news release Wednesday to “reassure its patients who have received steroid injections at the hospital or any of its satellites, that there is no risk of exposure.”

According to the release, the Centers for Disease Control has linked the outbreak to steroid shots for back pain. Victims were injected in their spine with a preservative-free steroid called methylprednisolone acetate.

The steroid was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts that does not supply injections for CGH Medical Center, CGH Main Clinic or any outlying clinics, the hospital states in its release.

In Dixon, KSB spokesman Tom Demmer said the hospital does not have any of the affected medication that was traced to the pharmacy in Massachusetts.

“There is no risk of exposure to our patients,” he said.

Demmer said the hospital’s pharmacy is in regular contact with drug manufacturers.

“That’s part of our regular checks, to make sure we’re on top of those issues,” he said. “We haven’t had any issue with this occurring.”

According to the release from CGH, the CDC found that 72 facilities in 23 states had received products from the company that produced the steroid. The three locations in Illinois are near Chicago.

CGH said the outbreak “should not keep people from having procedures that are already planned.”

Both CGH and KSB officials said that people with concerns should contact their physicians.

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