The furor over the mass outbreak of fungal meningitis continues. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated information recently on the scope of the outbreak. According to their tallies, at least 480 patients have developed fungal meningits because of the contaminated epidural shots that they received. The death toll has also risen, with 33 individuals having died from meningitis complications. In most cases the deaths were caused by the patient suffering a stroke which was spurred by the fungal infection. We know that at least two of the infected patients are in Illinois. When the outbreak first made national news, officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health explained that three facilies (two in Chicago and one in Westerchester) were known to have distributed the steroids to patients. All told about 350 Illinois patients likely received the tainted shot.
Fury Over Lack of Oversight
In the months since the outbreak there has been growing concern regarding the apparent lack of oversight at the New England Compounding Center (NECC). Several members of Congress have begun asking tough questions of state and federal officials to better understand what went wrong and what should be done to prevent repeat occurrences.