Continued Meningitis Cases Have Doctors Baffled

More than one month ago, fungal meningitis cases began appearing from the use of tainted steroid injections, resulting in a total of 37 deaths. The 42-day risk period for contracting fungal meningitis from these injections ended on November 7, but new cases of meningitis and infections continue to develop. Some of these new cases appear to be in individuals previously treated and sent home.

Since December 12, the Centers for Disease Control have reported 39 new spinal infections that are not meningitis, five new cases that are meningitis, and three new joint infections.

“Here’s the perplexing issue,” said Dr. Tom Chiller, deputy chief of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s mycotic disease branch, in an ABC News article. “Why are we getting people that early on who are presenting with rip-roaring meningitis, but now, they’re presenting 100 days later with focal infections only? Why the difference? We don’t know.”

Previously, an investigation by the FDA revealed that about one-quarter of the steroid vials in an NECC bin contained a “greenish black foreign matter”, as disclosed in an FDA report released on October 26. This report also identified rooms where sterile products were produced that had mold or bacterial growth.

Approximately 14,000 people received injections that were tainted and produced by a New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts, which later recalled all of its products and shut down for the remainder of the year.

“We hope we’re nearing the end of this,” Chiller said.

Read the full ABC News article here: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/fungal-meningitis-cases-spinal-infections-baffle-doctors/story?id=17937366#.UNHNS6zqR4t

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