Patient treated at local clinic shows signs of fungal meningitis

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC/AP) - Health officials say a patient that was treated at a Lowcountry clinic shows signs of fungal meningitis.

InterveneMD, which has locations in Mt. Pleasant and North Charleston, released a statement Wednesday night stating that a patient who received an epidural injection of methylprednisolone acetate implicated in the national fungal meningitis outbreak, displays symptoms consistent with the Centers for Disease Control assessment of "possible fungal infection."

According to officials at InterveneMD, the possible fungal infection means that the patient may have a probable, but not confirmed, case of fungal meningitis.

Officials say the patient has been admitted to a hospital for further evaluation.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, officials say their preliminary investigation has found problems with cleanliness and sterilization at a pharmacy linked to the deadly meningitis outbreak.

They said the problems at the New England Compounding Center included standing water that collected outside a room that was supposed to be sterile and a failure to adequately ensure sterilization equipment was working.

Health officials also said it appears the company was producing medication in large batches, in violation of its license. But company officials said it's hard to believe the state wasn't aware of the scope of its operations since they were transparent with regulators.

The investigation is ongoing, but Gov. Deval Patrick says he's toughening oversight at similar pharmacies. The steps include surprise inspections.

The outbreak has sickened 308 people, 23 of whom have died.

Copyright 2012 WCSC. & Associated Press. All rights reserved.