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outbreak 106 articles

Cause of Alabama mystery illness revealed

The mystery has been solved. The illness that sickened 10, sending seven to the hospital and killing two in southeast Alabama has been identified as a combination of type A flu, rhinovirus, and bacterial pneumonia, the Alabama Department of Public Health reports. “This is good news,” State Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson said in a statement. “Testing has ruled out avian flu and novel coronavirus.” Researchers were baffled by reports of patients with flu-like symptoms – with respiratory problems including cough and shortness of breath – at one Dothan, Ala., hospital. Officials reported the cases to the state health department, ... Read More

UAB research team to study long-term effects of fungal meningitis outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will study cases of fungal meningitis and infections in patients who received contaminated steroid shots last year from a compounding pharmacy to determine the long-term effects of the infections that have sickened more than 740 people and killed 55. “These infections are extremely rare. No one has ever seen anything quite like this,” Dr. Peter Pappas with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) told The Tennessean. The CDC is negotiating a one-source contract with UAB’s Mycoses Study Group led by Pappas, concluding that it is the only group qualified to conduct ... Read More

Inspections at compounding pharmacies beefed up since fungal meningitis outbreak

Seven months have passed since investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that cases of rare fungal meningitis popping up across the country were tied to contaminated steroid shots manufactured by a compounding pharmacy. Since then, at least 733 people have developed fungal infections, including meningitis, and at least 53 people have died. About 18,000 contaminated steroid shots were distributed to medical facilities in 23 states. An estimated 14,000 people received the shots, which are commonly used to treat back, neck or joint pain. The lab at New England Compounding Center (NECC), where the steroid shots ... Read More

All sterile products from compounding pharmacy recalled due to sterility concerns

Green Valley Drugs, a compounding pharmacy based in Henderson, Nevada, is recalling all lots of sterile products compounded, repackaged and distributed by the pharmacy due to lack of sterility assurance and concerns with the company’s quality control processes. The recall is one of several involving all sterile products from compounding pharmacies across the country triggered by the deadly meningitis outbreak traced back to contaminated steroid shots made by a compounding pharmacy. The products affected by the most recent recall were distributed nationwide and include more than 660 lots of various drugs. Products may contain acetylcysteine, ascorbic acid, betamethasone, bupivacaine, cyanocobalamin, ... Read More

Another compounding pharmacy recalls all products after contaminant found in several drug compounds

Once again, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is ordering the recall of all sterile products manufactured by a compounding pharmacy, this time because visible particles were seen floating in several different compounds. The FDA says the potential health risks are unknown at this point because the contaminant is as yet unidentified. However, particulate matter has the potential to damage or obstruct blood vessels, which could induce emboli, cause systemic allergic reaction, or cause tissue responses to the foreign material. The recall was ordered on all sterile products made by Pallimed Solutions, Inc., based in Woodburn, Mass., which does business as ... Read More

Compounding pharmacy blaming tainted steroid shots on cleaning service

New England Compounding Center (NECC), the specialty pharmacy a the center of the multistate fungal meningitis outbreak that has sickened more than 650 people and killed 39, is hoping to pass blame for the contaminated steroid shots it mixed on its cleaning service. Attorneys for NECC have sent a letter to UniFirst Corp., demanding that it take legal responsibility for claims against the pharmacy. UniFirst acknowledges that one of its subsidiaries helped clean portions of the pharmacy’s cleanroom where drug cocktails were mixed to doctors’ orders, but says its services were limited and that it could not be held liable ... Read More

CDC warns of new fungal infections related to contaminated steroid shots

Health departments across the country are once again contacting people who received steroid shots from contaminated lots that triggered a deadly multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak. This time they are asking patients to be on the lookout for signs of infection where they received the injections, or other unusual symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that even patients who have dodged fungal infections in their joints, brains or spinal cords are still at risk of fungal infections. Patients who received the steroid shots are being asked to seek medical attention immediately if they experience any increased pain ... Read More

Doctors question effectiveness of steroid shots for back pain

Some medical experts say that New England Compounding Center (NECC), the specialty pharmacy blamed for manufacturing contaminated steroid shots that caused the deadly multi-state fungal meningitis outbreak, is not the only guilty party. They say doctors overprescribe the shots, which are injected directly into the spinal cord as a treatment for back or neck pain, or into joints for joint pain. Furthermore, these experts say, studies have not proven the therapy effective at controlling pain. The use of steroid shots to treat back pain has climbed considerably in the past 15 years – far more than a growing and aging population ... Read More

Tennessee authorities identify who is most at risk in fungal meningitis outbreak

Tennessee State health officials say that individuals most at risk for developing rare fungal meningitis from contaminated steroid shots are women at least 60 years old, those who received multiple epidural injections, and those who were treated with vials of medicine more than 50 days old from one of the three recalled lots of steroids. The steroid shots, containing the medicine methylprednisolone acetate, were made by New England Compounding Center (NECC). The shots were primarily injected into the spine to treat back or neck pain. A much smaller sampling was injected into hip, elbow, knee and other joints to treat joint ... Read More

Victims of deadly fungal meningitis outbreak file lawsuits against steroid shot maker

Six lawsuits have been filed in Davidson County Tennessee Circuit Court against New England Compounding Center (NECC), the specialty pharmacy at the center of a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak. The lawsuits claim that the company manufactured steroid shots that were contaminated with a fungus that caused life-threatening infections. To date, 377 people who were given the tainted shots have been diagnosed with fungal meningitis, stroke due to presumed fungal meningitis, or a similar central nervous system-related infection. Twenty-eight of them have died. An additional nine people have developed fungal infections in joints such as the hip, knee, shoulder or elbow. ... Read More