The infections are localized, concentrated at or near the injection site, and have led to abscesses, pain and some joint infections that necessitated joint replacement, Nyaku explained.
Nyaku said one reason for the high number of cases in Michigan is that St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor saw the most patients with the infection in the country. To help identify new cases, the hospital offered MRIs to anybody who had been exposed to the contaminated steroids. "In doing so they identified additional cases, which contributed to the high number," Nyaku said.
Another possible explanation, Nyaku said, is that more than 2,000 of the 17,000 vials of tainted drugs were shipped to Michigan. And one of the lots shipped to the state appeared to cause more infections than the other two contaminated lots, he said.
Some patients who stopped therapy also have seen their illness return, he added.
For more on fungal infections, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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