Wicomico County Pharmacies Ease Meningitis Concerns - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico County Pharmacies Ease Meningitis Concerns


SALISBURY, Md.- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the number of cases in the nationwide meningitis outbreak continues to rise.

The culprit? Steroid injections given for back pain.

The outbreak has spread to 10 states including Maryland and Virginia.

So far there have been 137 cases reported and 12 of those have been fatal.

The steroids used were produced at a compound pharmacy in Framingham, Mass.

Some pharmacies in Wicomico County told WBOC that customers here have nothing to worry about. 

Ed McEarchern has been a longtime customer of Riverside Pharmacy in Salisbury, so when he found out about the latest meningitis outbreak he said it did not concern him.

"They are very accurate in the prescriptions that they fill and I have never had any doubt whatsoever," McEarchern said.

Riverside Pharmacy Chief Operating Officer Melissa Batie-Johnson said local pharmacies are trying to stay away from being connected to the outbreak that has already claimed the lives of 12 people. 

She said average pharmacies do not make medicines on the same scale of the compounding pharmacy in New England where the outbreak happened.

"Compounding isn't new it's nothing to be afraid of," she said. "It is a well-established practice and what happened in the New England Compounding Center is a fluke. Patients should not be concerned and they should always ask questions."

Pharmacist Craig Schury of Pemberton Pharmacy said that some of his customers asked questions around the time he was administrating flu shots.

"Most of the concerns are regarding whether or not regular injections or injection of that nature could cause meningitis," he said. "The answer is no, unless you're injecting it into the spine you almost would never have that happen."

Julie Kaelia said knowing that pharmacies in her neighborhood are assuring there is nothing to worry about puts her mind at ease. 

"I trust our local pharmacy," she said. "We've been coming here for years and we know them personally and I definitely trust the product that we are getting here." 

 The CDC is working closely with state health departments across the country to help identify and notify patients that may have received  steroids tainted with the bacteria. 
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