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Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Hits Michigan Hard

Filed December 10th, 2012 admin

The fungal meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) has now affected at least 214 people in Michigan.

That total is up from 197 last week, the Detroit Free Press said. The Michigan Department of Community Health says there have been 67 meningitis cases as of Friday. There also have been 131 epidural abscesses, 14 peripheral joint infections and one stroke linked to contaminated steroids produced by the Massachusetts pharmacy, the Detroit Free Press said. The number of deaths reported in Michigan remained at 13.

Michigan has been hit the hardest by the outbreak, which had spread to 19 states and has been linked to 36 deaths. The most recent update provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed 541 cases of reported infection. Tennessee (88 cases), Indiana (59 cases) and Virginia (51 cases) have also been greatly affected by the tainted steroids. The injections at the center of the outbreak were given to patients who were looking to alleviate back or neck pain.

NECC recalled all lots of the steroid medication and halted operations in accordance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as the investigation is ongoing. Two other compounding pharmacies were also shut down shortly after the outbreak. Meanwhile, a fierce debate continues in Washington D.C. over what changes in regulation need to be made to ensure future outbreaks of this nature are prevented. The House and the Senate both met on the subject in recent weeks.

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