The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning health care providers of additional contaminants in drugs made by the New England Compounding Center – a Massachusetts specialty pharmacy blamed for a fungal meningitis outbreak.
The CDC’s alert says bacterial and fungal contaminants were found in cardioplegia, a drug used in heart surgeries, and the steroid medications betamethasone and triamcinolone.
WBIR out of Tennessee reports that all cases of fungal meningitis have so far been traced to preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, an injectable steroid commonly used to treat back and joint pain, distributed by the NECC.
The outbreak of meningitis – an inflammation of the tissue surrounding the spinal cord and brain – linked to the NECC has so far killed 36 people and sickened 541, the CDC reports.
The NECC recalled three lots of methylprednisolone acetate on Sept. 26, after the outbreak was reported. It then recalled all of its products on Oct. 6. Inspectors later found unsanitary conditions at the pharmacy.
WBIR says several mysteries remain about the outbreak, such as why fungal contaminants, as opposed to bacterial contaminants, caused meningitis. Investigators are also questioning why no infections have been reported in some states, including California, that received methylprednisolone acetate.
Lopez McHugh is investigating cases related to this outbreak. If you or a loved one had an injection and were diagnosed with meningitis, you should consult with a Lopez McHugh lawyer for a free consultation.
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