The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the fungal meningitis outbreak has spread to fourteen states, infected 205 people, and caused 15 deaths. So far, patients who received epidural steroid injections for back pain in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Idaho, and Texas may be affected by the fungal meningitis outbreak.
The contaminated steroid vials were produced by specialty pharmacy New England Compounding Center (NECC). The NECC recalled the following three lots of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate:
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #05212012@68, BUD 11/17/2012
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #06292012@26, BUD 12/26/2012
- Methylprednisolone Acetate (PF) 80 mg/ml Injection, Lot #08102012@51, BUD 2/6/2013
Though the epidural injections were recalled, it appears not all of the contaminated vials were returned. Tennessee has been the hardest hit state. The Volunteer State accounts for a quarter of all the fungal meningitis from steroid injections cases reported so far.
The CDC is working around the clock to bring the outbreak under control. The leader of the investigation team for the federal agency, Dr. John Jernigan, says the unusual nature of the infection is due to it being caused by a fungus. Typically, meningitis is caused by a bacteria or virus. The fungus that is causing these cases is commonly found in grasses and dirt, but because they are being injected into the spine along with the steroid, the patients are getting sick.
Burnetti, P.A. is currently reviewing information regarding state-based accusations of the New England Compounding Center (NECC) violating regulations and licensing rules. According to an article in the Huffington Post, officials at NECC, which produced the tainted steroid linked to the scandal, may face a prison sentence if found guilty of violating the Michigan public health code.
If you’ve been diagnosed with meningitis from a steroid injection, contact Florida steroid meningitis lawyers at Burnetti, P.A. who may be able to file a meningitis lawsuit. The firm has offices located in Tampa, Orlando, Lakeland, Jacksonville and Sebring (Satellite), and evening and weekend appointments are available. For a free, no obligation consultation, call 1-888-BURNETTI or fill out our free case evaluation form.