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Fungal meningitis outbreak
Harley, John P. Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky.
- The pharmacy company
- Causative agent
- Diagnosis, disease, and treatment
- Current regulation
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Although normally a rare infection, fungal meningitis received a great amount of attention in the United States in 2012. Meningitis is a swelling of the protective membranes (meninges, derived from the Greek meninx) covering the brain and spinal cord. According to health officials, tainted injections of a pain-relieving steroid [injectable preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (MPA)] custom-produced by a Massachusetts-based company (the New England Compounding Center) triggered an outbreak of the disease in 15 states during a 4-month time period in 2012. These injections were used to treat severe back pain. The first outbreak was reported in Tennessee and then spread to 14 other states (Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia). This outbreak was linked to the contaminated shots and led to almost 300 cases, including 23 deaths.
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