The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are currently investigating a multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis affecting patients who received contaminated batches of epidural steroid injections in their spines. Multiple deaths have been attributed to the outbreak, and the number of infected patients continues to grow.
At this time, it is believed as many as 13,000 patients may have been exposed to the contaminated drugs. The contaminated steroid injections were given starting May 21, 2012. Because it can take up to four weeks for symptoms to develop, many experts feel the number of affected patients will continue to grow.
Officials state NECC shipped three lots of the contaminated steroids to 75 medical facilities in 23 states, with some states currently reporting dozens of fungal meningitis infections. [read more]