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Valley Hospital: We Never Used Product, Vendor Linked to Meningitis Outbreak

A Massachusetts compounding company is believed to be responsible for producing a tainted steroid used for back pain that might be responsible for eight deaths nationwide.

Patients who received an epidural steroid from Valley Hospital need not worry there's a link to the deadly outbreak of meningitis, according to the hospital.

"As concern grows about contaminated spinal injections for back pain that have been tied to a fungal meningitis outbreak, we want to reassure our patients that neither The Valley Hospital nor the Valley Institute for Pain have ever used the product or vendor implicated in the outbreak," the hospital said Tuesday.

Eight people have died and 105 cases of fungal meningitis have been linked to a steroid injection used to treat back pain. An estimated 13,000 people in 23 states could be exposed to the deadly infection, according to Reuters. Thus far, confirmed cases of meningitis have only been linked to nine of the 23 states.

Federal authorities believe the drugs were produced by New England Compounding Center Inc. in Massachusetts, a large-scale compounding center that operates with little federal oversight. The company voluntarily recalled all of its products and is cooperating with authorities, Framingham Patch reported.

Like Valley, other local North Jersey hospitals also have not used the vendor nor steroid believed to have caused the meningitis outbreak, according to a report on northjersey.com.

One Teaneck doctor's office, however, was found to have received the contaminated epidurals. As many as 650 people across the state may have received the tainted steroid from six separate facilities since July, state health officials have stated. 

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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