Fungal meningitis is a rare non-contagious disease that if caught, can be life threatening. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this disease is something that is commonly inhaled from the air or passed in other ways, and those who already have autoimmune diseases are at a much higher risk of death if contaminated with this disease. According to ABC News, there has been a major outbreak of this deadly branch of the disease and so far 26 people have been affected and four are already dead. Sadly, the reports say that it is believed more cases will appear in due time. It is believed that the cause of the infection was due to a steroid infection that all of these victims received for their back pains.
The largest number of the outbreak was in Tennessee, with 18 of the cases, and it is said that they received a large shipment of the steroid treatment form a Massachusetts pharmacy. The pharmacy actually recalled their product just last week, however that was clearly not soon enough because so many have already been infected. The specialty pharmacy is currently undergoing investigations to locate the cause of the fungal infection in their products. It is believed that this specific form of the disease is caused by a fungus that grows on leaf mold.
John Dreyezehner, the Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner states that the disease outbreak has been “rapidly evolving” and just over the past day another 5 cases have been confirmed in their state. At this time federal investigators are unsure if these infections are stemming from the product that was used a few months ago, or if new infections will continue to happen. One of the main effects of this terrible and rare disease is that it causes the brain to swell, and can lead to severe headaches, fever, nausea, as well as dizziness. It can affect the way a person thinks as well as their ability to speak clearly and walk or urinate. Depending on the health of the victims largely determines whether they will be able to survive the disease. Healthy people will usually not be infected at all by the fungus, though a sickly person will likely experience it to the fullest extent.
Doctors state that this specific fungal meningitis can take anywhere from 2 to 28 days to get into full swing in the body, so they believe it is very possible that more people have been infected and just haven’t shown symptoms yet. The records show that over the last 3 months, over 900 patients received the same injection of steroids to help with their physical pains. The effect of this injection was unknown until just two weeks ago when a doctor at Vanderbilt University discovered that his patient was not improving after the treatment. After conducting tests, they discovered that the fungus was in the person’s spinal fluids and began to do more tests.
Both the pharmacy and the state hospitals are doing what they can to catch this disease before it is too late, though it is uncertain how many lives will be placed at risk by the end of the outbreak. At this time the patients are receiving extremely high amounts of antifungal medications through an IV at their hospitals. Hearing the news that you or a loved one have even infected by a virus due to some form of contamination is a scary situation to go through. If you or a loved one have been involved in similar situation in which you have been infected and struck ill or killed as a result, contact a personal injury attorney who can represent you before the court to seek the compensation you deserve! Call Knowles Law Firm today to discuss your case.