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Health Officials Warn of Meningitis Outbreak — 13,000 May be Affected

Besides facing basic day-to-day life challenges as a result of various age-related medical conditions, senior residents face increased long-term consequences from medical issues that affect people of all ages. There is a reason that seniors are the first ones urged to get flu shots then they become available–because contracting the flu can have more serious long-term consequences on seniors than other community members. Their bodies are often less able to fight back against the condition.

It is for that reason that local seniors and their family members should take notice of a new national health crisis that is making news across the country this week–a meningitis outbreak. According to a story on the issue from Reuters today, health officials are scrambling to get a handle of the situation which ultimately may affect thousands of people across the country.

Thus far, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that at least 105 cases have been identified in the last few days–every day seems to bring a few more cases. Sadly, at least eight people have died already as a result of the situation.

The Cause
The first step for those addressing the problem is to raise awareness of the outbreak so that those who might be affected receive the treatment that they need to deal with the deadly problem.

But officials are already honing in on the underlying cause of the outbreak. As usual, negligent practices by a large company placing thousands at risk may be at the bottom of it. Unfortunately, attorneys working on cases like this know all too well how the drive for profits often pushes businesses (or individuals) to cut corners and otherwise risk the lives of those who are counting on them. It is that same dynamic that is at play in so many nursing homes, where care is substandard as a result of skewed profit-motives by owners and operators.

In this meningitis cause, officials have traced the problem back to a pharmaceutical company in Massachusetts. This is a “compounding pharmacy” which means that it takes medications made by others and makes them into specific doses for use in various capacities.

According to reports there are three lots of a steroid–methylprednisolene acetate–that were exposed to the rare form of meningitis. The drug is a painkiller that is primarily used in the back. It is used by medical professionals in a wide range of cases. From June to September of this year the company allegedly shipped over 17,600 vials of the steroid to dozens of facilities across the country. The steroid has since been recalled, but not before at least 13,000 patients were exposed to the dangerous drug.

Calls for Investigation into the Meningitis Outbreak
Naturally, many outraged community members, health officials, and patient advocates have called for detailed investigations into the company involved in this situation Unsurprisingly, investigators have already noted that the business faced various complaints in the pat for their practices which might have placed patients at risk.

In Chicago and throughout Illinois it is critical for seniors–and all citizens–to be on the lookout for possible signs or symptoms of meningitis. It is important to talk with medical professional immediately if you suspect that you or someone you know might have been affected by this situation. In addition it is critical to seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer to help with the legal end of the ordeal. The attorneys at our firm are standing by to help all those harmed receive fair redress.

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