Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Spreads

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now reporting that at least thirty-five cases of fungal meningitis, including at least five deaths, in at least six states across the country, have been detected in recent days. The meningitis is reportedly linked to tainted vials of steroid drugs made by pharmaceutical company New England Compounding Center.

Vials of methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid that is injected around the spinal cord in the lower back to relieve pain caused by ruptured disks or spinal stenosis, may have been contaminated and then sent to health care clinics across the country in the last several months. The CDC is currently investigating how the vials were contaminated. The CDC agency is advising all medical practitioners to discontinue use of all products from the New England Compounding Center.

The contaminated vials of the steroid were shipped from New England Compounding Center to more than 23 states, to an estimated 75 different facilities and medical clinics. According to the AP (10/5, Stobbe), Massachusetts Health Department officials said the compounding center has “recalled three lots consisting of a total of 17,676 single-dose vials of the steroid.” Health regulators said that “several hundred of the vials” have been returned unopened, but many “were used.” Federal health authorities have said that prior to the recall, an “unknown number of those vials reached 75 clinics and other facilities in 23 states between July and September.”

Reuters (10/5, Ghianni) reports that the CDC’s Dr. Park said the 75 clinics that received the compounded steroid vials are in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and West Virginia.

More cases are expected to emerge. Victims of such dangerous medications and drugs need experienced trial lawyers to advise them and represent them to protect their rights. The Spence Law Firm has significant experience representing victims in pharmaceutical and product liability cases. For more information, or if you or someone you know may have been contaminated or have contracted fungal meningitis, contact us immediately at (844) 447-5497.

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