Fourteen people have now died, and 170 people have become ill, after contracting the rare fungal meningitis illness.
The outbreak is linked to an injectable steroid called methylprednilosone. The steroid injections were given to as many as 14,000 people. The steroid had apparently been contaminated by two rare molds, a black mold called Exserohilum rostratum and another mold called Aspergillus. Most of the deaths have been caused by the former.
All of the cases are linked to the injections sold at one Framingham, Massachusetts pharmacy. The New England Compounding Center and sister pharmacy, Ameridose, have closed.
The New England Compounding Center pharmacy has recalled all of its products, even though only one is linked to the fungal meningitis outbreak.
The federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the meningitis cannot be passed from person to person and that the injections alone are the source. The CDC has attributed the high death toll to the fact that the symptoms of the meningitis are subtle, and the illness is difficult to detect and diagnose without an invasive and painful procedure called a spinal tap.
The CDC has issued an alert to anyone who took an epidural steroid injection affected by the recall to talk to their doctor. They are also advised to watch for symptoms like new or worsening headaches, fever, sensitivity to light, a stiff neck, numbness or weakness in any part of the body, slurred speech and pain, and swelling or redness at the injection site.
This, obviously, is a bad situation. Products contaminated with disease-causing fungus and other defective products can cause frightening injuries and even wrongful death.
If you or someone you know recently suffered personal injuries or a wrongful death due to a defective product, please call our Massachusetts defective product attorneys, Massachusetts personal injury accident attorneys or Massachusetts wrongful death attorneys at 617-787-3700.
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