Dreyzehner: Tainted Steroids Lead to New Infections, More Uncertainty

People who received tainted steroid injections aren’t in the clear just yet, according to Tennessee’s health commissioner. His comments come as health officials are seeing new types of infections linked to the shots

The new illnesses aren’t lethal, like the fungal meningitis outbreak that’s sickened more than 80 in Tennessee and caused the death of 13 others. They include soreness around the injection site. It can be treated with medication, if caught soon enough. State health commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner says these conditions extremely rare and unusual, and he acknowledged that creates more uncertainty for people exposed to the contaminated shots.

“We really don’t know how long the tail of risk for infection with this situation is. That’s why, frankly, this is such a tragic and difficult situation for the people involved. Imagine yourself having to live with this and the medical community can’t really tell you with precision when your period of risk ends.”

Along with the infection at the injection site patients in Michigan have reported infections in their elbow and shoulder joints. Dreyzehner says his office as advised all patients exposed to the tainted steroids to get an MRI, since that’s the only sure way to detect the illnesses.

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