More deaths and illnesses associated with fungal menigitis
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that there are 198 cases of fungal meningitis and 15 deaths associated with it.
According to CNN, this is 13 more than reported on Friday and the death toll is up from Saturday.
The rare fungal meningitis has been reported in 13 states, with Tennessee being the hardest hit state. There have been 52 cases and six deaths.
It is estimated that about 14,000 people could have received the injection, the CDC estimated.
Barbe Puro filed a lawsuit Thursday, which is the first associated with the outbreak. She alleges that she was injected in September with the batch of steroids that contained the meningitis from the NECC.
Congress is expanding its investigation into the outbreak. They noted that the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy, leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce stated that the Food and Drug Administration sent the NECC a warning letter in 2006 that had detailed significant violations that were witnessed by investigators the previous year.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick accused the NECC of misleading regulators and operating outside its license by shipping large batches of drugs nationwide. Also, the states pharmacy board mandated that all compounding pharmacies sign an affidavit that they are complying with state regulations.
According to NBC News, the drug is called methylprednicolone acetate. The Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner said, “We have notified medical professionals the prime suspect for this outbreak is methylprednisolone.”
There is an incubation period that can range from two days to two months for meningitis.
The medication that may contain the deadly strain may be a steroid medication used for back pain, according to the Associated Press.
All the medications have been recalled.