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FDA: Drug Co. Knew About Mold, Bacteria Contamination

Months before the meningitis outbreak

(Newser) - Staffers at a pharmacy linked to the deadly meningitis outbreak documented dozens of cases of mold and bacteria growing in rooms that were supposed to be sterile, according to federal health inspectors. In a preliminary report on conditions at the pharmacy, the US Food and Drug Administration said today that... More »

End in Sight for Meningitis Outbreak

New cases still cropping up, but doctors says we're almost out of the woods

(Newser) - New cases are still being reported in the nationwide meningitis outbreak, but there's now "a light at the end of the tunnel," authorities said yesterday. That's because the risk of death or stroke more or less disappears 42 days after exposure to the contaminated steroid causing... More »

Man Whose Wife Died of Meningitis Now Has It, Too

Michigan couple each got steroid injection

(Newser) - George Cary lost his wife to the outbreak of fungal meningitis that has killed 24 people so far, and now he has to deal with the disease himself. The 65-year-old Michigan resident tells the AP that he is hospitalized and undergoing treatment. Both he and his wife, Lilian, got shots... More »

West Nile Outbreak Now Second-Worst Year Ever

Also: Meningitis death toll hits 19

(Newser) - Two developments of note on the West Nile and meningitis outbreaks:
  • West Nile: Nearly 300 new cases surfaced last week, bringing this year's total to 4,531 and making it the second-worst year ever. The death toll rose by 15 to 183. It's the highest number of cases
... More »

Feds Raid Firm Linked to Meningitis Outbreak

Agents probing New England Compounding Center

(Newser) - Criminal investigators from the Food and Drug Administration have raided the Massachusetts company whose steroid medication has been linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak. An FDA spokesman says the agents' work at the New England Compounding Center is part of the investigation into the outbreak, which has killed at least... More »

2 More Drugs Named in Meningitis Outbreak

The same compounding center made them, too

(Newser) - Federal health officials today implicated two more drugs in the meningitis outbreak that has killed 15 people and sickened at least 214, NBC News reports. One is a steroid called triamcinolone acetonide, which is similar to methylprednisolone acetate, the back pain steroid that officials have already linked to the outbreak.... More »

Death Toll in Meningitis Outbreak Hits 15

CDC confirms 197 cases so far, 13 states affected

(Newser) - Deaths in the outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to steroid shots for back pain, which have been recalled, are up to 15. Latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
  • Illnesses: 197
  • Deaths: 15
  • States: 13; Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio,
... More »

Ex-Employees at Drug Firm Say Safety Wasn't a Priority

One pharmacist quit, citing lax quality control

(Newser) - Former employees of the owners of the pharmacy linked to the national meningitis outbreak tell the New York Times that the work culture favored production speed over drug safety. The newspaper talks to eight ex-workers from Ameridose, owned mostly by the same people who run the New England Compounding Center,... More »

First Meningitis Lawsuit Is In

Patient sues company, in what could be first of many legal challenges

(Newser) - When your product has made 169 people sick, you should probably start bracing for a lawsuit. Sure enough, the New England Compounding Center of Massachusetts got hit with its first suit yesterday from a Minnesota woman who used its injections, though she has not been diagnosed with meningitis, the AP... More »

Meningitis Toll at 14

But most of the 14K at risk have now been notified

(Newser) - Maybe a glimmer of hope that the meningitis numbers will stop rising in the near future: Federal health officials said they've tracked down more than 90% of the roughly 14,000 people who may have received contaminated steroid shots. Of the 170 people sickened in the outbreak, all but... More »

Pharmacy in Meningitis Outbreak Also Accused in '04

Man died after allegedly tainted shot

(Newser) - The compounding pharmacy suspected in the US fungal meningitis outbreak—which has now killed 12 people who are thought to have received tainted steroid injections—was also accused of producing a tainted shot in 2002, the AP reports. New England Compounding Center ultimately settled the lawsuit that was brought after... More »

Oops: Fla. Gov Accidentally Promotes Phone Sex No.

He meant to give out a meningitis hotline

(Newser) - Here's today's face-palm moment, courtesy of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who helpfully, unintentionally, and hysterically promoted the phone number for an adult hotline during a meeting of the Florida Cabinet yesterday, reports WSUF . He apparently got his digits mixed up when trying to direct Floridians to the hotline... More »

Meningitis Death Toll Hits 11

And 13K could be at risk

(Newser) - The death toll from the US fungal meningitis outbreak is up to 11 after three more people died, the CDC said today. The total number sick is also up by 14 people to a total of 119, and 10 states have been affected. (New Jersey is the latest.) The... More »

Meningitis Outbreak Spreads: 8 Dead, 105 Sick

Michigan and Virginia report new cases

(Newser) - The death toll in America's meningitis outbreak rose to eight today, the Centers for Disease Control announced, and the number infected swelled to 105, CNN reports. The outbreak has now affected patients in nine states, with many of the new cases coming from Michigan and Virginia, according to Reuters... More »

Meningitis Outbreak Death Toll Up to 7

Two fatalities reported in Michigan

(Newser) - The death toll in the meningitis outbreak reached seven today after two more fatalities were reported in Michigan, Reuters reports. Overall, 65 people across nine states have come down with the membrane infection that affects the brain and spinal cord. Everyone who has fallen ill had taken steroid injections linked... More »

Less-Regulated Pharmacies Take Heat in Meningitis Crisis

'Compounding pharmacies' make drugs with weaker oversight

(Newser) - The death toll in an ongoing meningitis outbreak has hit five, with 35 sick in six states, the AP reports. What's more, hundreds or thousands could be at risk across 23 states after receiving potentially tainted steroid injections, and health providers are rushing to warn them of the danger.... More »

4 Dead as Meningitis Outbreak Spreads

30 sick in 5 states; disease traced to Massachusetts pharmacy

(Newser) - A meningitis outbreak linked to epidural steroid injections has now spread to five states; four victims have died, while 30 others are sick, and experts expect the numbers to continue climbing. Scientists have tied the illness to a steroid tainted with the Aspergillus fungus. All victims so far had received... More »

Rare Meningitis Outbreak Leaves 2 Dead

Tennessee hospital closes clinic that gave steroid injections

(Newser) - A rare outbreak of fungal meningitis has killed two Tennesseans and infected 11 more, prompting an investigation by state health officials and the CDC, the Tennesseean reports. So far, those infected have one thing in common: injections of epidural steroids at a Nashville hospital this summer. The procedure—usually given... More »

Rare Bug Kills SF Disease Researcher, 25

CDC probing Richard Din's death

(Newser) - A young researcher at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been killed by the rare strain of bacteria that he was researching. Richard Din, 25, died in the hospital where he worked just 17 hours after coming down with a bloodstream infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis,... More »

Tainted Wipes Blamed in Toddler Death

Families urged to check homes for recalled alcohol wipes

(Newser) - The parents of a 2-year-old boy who died from a rare infection blame contaminated alcohol swabs and wipes for his death. Their son was recovering well from surgery before he contracted a fatal case of meningitis caused by a bacteria rarely found in hospitals. The couple say their son's death... More »

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