Meningitis Outbreak Update: Victims Diagnosed with Second Illness
More and more patients are now developing epidural abscesses, which grow out of an infection near the location where the drug was injected to treat neck or back pain. So far, 404 people around the U.S. have been sickened by the drug, which was manufactured by the now-dismantled New England Compounding Center (NECC) and contaminated by a fungus.
29 people have died from complications.
The scary part about the abscesses is that they have been seen in patients who were taking powerful antifungal medicines to combat the risk for further complications from the epidural injection. The abscesses also leave no visible symptoms on the skin, which might leave patients untreated for longer. They can only be seen in an M.R.I. scan.
Dr. Tom M. Chiller, who serves as deputy chief of the mycotic diseases branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Michigan, said his team is working to keep the situation under control.
“We are just learning about this and trying to assess how best to manage these patients. They’re very complicated.”
It is estimated that before the meningitis outbreak, which the New York Times refers to as “one of the worst public health disasters ever caused by a contaminated drug,” the NCCC distributed about 17,000 vials of the drug, which were injected into about 14,000 people.
It is unclear how many people have been affected by the recall in total, but in just the past week, nearly a third of the 53 people victimized by meningitis have come back to the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., with abscesses, said its chief medical officer, Dr. Lakshmi K. Halasyamani.
If you were struck with fungal meningitis after receiving a contaminated steroid injection made by the NECC, call a lawyer at Bernstein Liebhard LLP at (877) 779-1414 to learn how to file a fungal meningitis from steroid injections lawsuit.