He was contacted by South Jersey Healthcare over this past weekend as part of an effort to notify its 124 patients who had been injected with the tainted steroid, a health system spokesman said. At a special clinic set up for those patients, he was evaluated Monday with a worsening headache, stiff neck and increased sensitivity to light - all classic symptoms of the infection - and sent to the emergency room. He was admitted on Tuesday.
Although the nationwide outbreak was recognized only in mid-September, his case illustrates the challenge of finding illnesses that could go back almost to May 21, when the first of more than 17,000 potentially contaminated vials were shipped nationwide. The recall began on Sept. 25.
Health officials say that most of the 13,000 patients who received the contaminated medication will not get sick, and only epidural injections, near the spine, have the potential to cause deadly illness. But the severity of symptoms varies. They first show up after one to four weeks.
Just three locations in the Philadelphia region received contaminated shipments from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., federal officials said.
They are South Jersey Healthcare's hospitals in Vineland and Elmer, and Premier Orthopedics Surgical Associates in Vineland. The man whose case was the first identified in New Jersey got his shot Sept. 26 at Premier, before the practice was notified of the recall, a state Health Department spokeswoman said.
Contact Don Sapatkin at 215-854-2617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.