The New England Compounding Center, the Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis, has voluntarily recalled all of its products.
The meningitis has been linked to a steroid medication injected into the spine to treat back pain. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, the New England Compounding Center said there’s no indication that any other products have been contaminated and the recall is being undertaken purely as a precautionary measure.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had previously warned health professionals not to use any products distributed by the center.
As of Oct. 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had posted 91 confirmed cases of the rare form of fungal meningitis, and at least seven deaths. It’s been reported in the following states: Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.
The report says investigators do not yet know exactly how many people may have been affected. But the outbreak could ultimately affect hundreds or even thousands of people who received the steroid injections for back pain from July to September.
Meningitis is a potentially lethal inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Unlike its more common viral and bacterial counterparts, the fungal meningitis identified in the outbreak is not contagious.
Health officials say that a contaminated steroid medication is particularly worrying because it’s injected directly into the spinal cord, giving the disease a direct path to the brain.
See the story here: