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More information emerges on meningitis outbreak

Posted On: Oct. 12, 2012 12:00 AM CST

Workers compensation adjusters and case managers are helping provide claimants with information on the meningitis outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday raised the number of patients confirmed to have contracted meningitis linked to steroid injections to 170 with 14 deaths. That was up from 137 cases and 12 deaths the CDC reported on Wednesday.

The CDC also raised the number of patients that may have been given potentially tainted steroid injections from 13,000 to 14,000. Patients received the injections in the spinal area, knees, shoulders or ankles, the CDC said.

The steroids have been linked to a compounding facility in Framingham, Mass. New reports say that a Minnesota woman who received a steroid injection and is experiencing meningitis symptoms has been the first to file a lawsuit against the drug-compounding company linked to the outbreak.

A spokeswoman for Bethesda, Md.-based Coventry Health Care Inc.'s workers compensation services said the managed care company has sent a bulletin to its clients advising them on where they may find reliable information on the outbreak, such as that provided by the CDC.

Additionally, Coventry case managers have contacted workers comp claimants who receive injectable medications from their doctors, and the medical providers, to offer the information and help ease any concerns they may have, the spokeswoman said.

Coventry clients, which include insurers, third-party administrators and employers, also have indicated they are distributing information to their adjusters, the spokeswoman said.