The fungal meningitis outbreak got a little closer to home this weekend, as the first case of an Illinois resident developing the infection was reported. This is a sad reminder of the need for all residents who may have been infected by this situation, including many seniors, to act quickly to ensure their health and protect their legal rights.
According to the latest reports from NBC News, the total number of patients who have developed fungal meningitis in the latest outbreak is 197. At least 15 patients have died as a result of the serious ailment. All of the cases have thus far been traced back to a pharmaceutical compounding plant in New England. The plant made various medications which were sent to many state across the country, including Illinois. So far at least 13 states have reported cases of patients developing fungal meningitis as a result of the outbreak. In Illinois, those who visited one of three APAC clinics over the past few months are most at risk of developing the problem. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, those three clinics which received the contaminated spinal steroid injections include the APAC facility in Westchester, APAC in Lincoln Park, and at the Thorek Memorial Hospital.
Seniors are often more vulnerable to all sorts of medical outbreaks, because, at times, their bodies are less efficient at fighting back bodily invaders–like a fungal infection. Of course it is critical for all those at risk in this situation to get appropriate medical treatment, but seniors are always at significant risk because ailments that might be beaten by a younger individual could prove more serious to the elderly.
In this case, the CDC explains that the most common symptoms of the condition include: stiffness in the neck, headache, fever, skin irritation at the injection site, slurred speech, dizziness, and weakness. Any residents experiencing some of these symptoms are urged to act prudently to get appropriate medical help. It is critical for residents to appreciate that even if they received the injection a few months ago, the symptoms might not develop until later. Experts explain that the fungal meningitis often does not show up until later, and even then, the initial symptoms are often very subtle. It is usually only until some times has passed that real problems develop. For this reason the CDC expects more cases of the meningitis to show up in the coming days and weeks.
As investigators continue to look into the cause of the outbreak they have identified various problems at the facility. For one thing, this is not the first time that allegations have come in involving meningitis infection from the products made by the company. In addition, the plant may have been working beyond the scope of its license–a clear violation of state (and potentially federal) rules.
Meningitis Help in Illinois
Our lawyers are investigating this particular outbreak and are working with all those affected. We have significant experience working on cases of professional negligence, including many in the medical field. Please take a moment to call our office if you or a loved one many have been affected by this case. There is no obligation and no cost to the call. Considering the nature of this outbreak, it is likely that some negligence and problematic conduct was involved which might result in compensation for those affected.
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