A recent outbreak of fungal meningitis has affected 271 patients across several states who received contaiminated steroid injections. This outbreak has caused 21 deaths and is being traced back to the compounding pharmacy that prepared the spinal steroid injections. The specialty pharmacy has since recalled three lots of the drugs. The CDC and FDA have confirmed the presence of a fungus known as Exserohilum rostratum in unopened vials of the drug methylprednisolone. Laboratory testing on the other two lots that are thought to be contaminated continues. The CDC and various health departments etimated that 14,000 patients have received shots from the contaminated lots and roughly 97% of these patients have been contacted. Meningitis affects the membraneous lining of the brain and spinal cord. Early symptoms include headache, fever, nausea and dizziness. Some of these symptoms can take up to a month to disappear. If fungal meningitis is left untreated it can cause permanent neurological damage and death. paul n.
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