A North Carolina woman has died as a result of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroid injections. The contaminated steroids were manufactured by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts and believed to be distributed to 23 states including North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and West Virginia.
According to the CDC, as of today 284 people have been confirmed to have contracted fungal meningitis since the outbreak began earlier this month. Twenty-three deaths have been linked to the outbreak, including the latest victim from North Carolina.
While there are sixteen states with confirmed cases, there have only been two confirmed cases in North Carolina. In Pennsylvania there has been one confirmed case of fungal meningitis in Altoona. Although a clinic in the South Hills of Pittsburgh was delivered several lots of the recalled drugs, no cases have been reported in Western Pennsylvania as of today.
Tennessee has seen the most cases of fungal meningitis with 69, nine of which have resulted in death. Roughly 14,000 people may have received contaminated steroid shots, and the CDC is warning patients to keep watch for symptoms of fungal meningitis. It is suggested that if you have received a steroid injection at any of the clinics where the tainted steroids may have distributed that you should contact a health care provider immediately.
Health authorities haven't yet said how they think the medication was contaminated, but they have ruled out other suspects — other products used in administering the shots — and the focus continues to be on that compounding pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center.
It has been reported that the New England Compounding Center is being investigated for violations to Massachusetts law.