Fungal Meningitis Deaths Hit High- People are Still at Risk

The fungal meningitis outbreak is not over.  Weeks after regulators declared the window for infection likely closed, there are new deaths and new nonfatal fungal meningitis cases.  Health officials have increased the death total to 32.  Nonfatal fungal meningitis cases have similarly increased to 438.

The outbreak famously began at the New England Compounding Center (NECC) of Farmington, MA when the compounding pharmacy released tainted steroids.  Over 14,000 of these tainted steroids were released across the United States, prompting federal investigation into the NECC and its practices. 

Which States Were Affected?

Although tainted steroids were sent out across the United States, the recall of these tainted steroids prevented wider distribution.  Many states were unaffected, but the following states saw cases:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
How You Could Still Be at Risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the risk remains not only in new cases of fungal meningitis, but in reinfections of patients who previously received treatment.  Many patients who have already been treated have suffered new outbreaks and infections. These patients have been encouraged to seek additional medical treatment to get this disease under control.

The following fungal meningitis symptoms could turn deadly:

  • fever
  • headache
  • stiff neck
  • nausea and vomiting
  • phototobia (sensitivity to light)
  • altered mental status
As time goes on, these symptoms could turn worse, leading to gangrene of the limbs, neurological problems, hearing loss, and blindness.  If you have undergone treatment for fungal meningitis, it behooves you to get checked again to ensure the meningitis has not come back.  And if you have received steroid injections in the past 2 months, you should get checked by a doctor to ensure you have not developed fungal meningitis.

If you have been injured in the fungal meningitis outbreak, you should consult a skilled product liability attorney to ensure your rights are protected.