It has been months since public health authorities registered another fatality related to the tragic fungal meningitis outbreak traced to a contaminated compounding pharmacy last fall. Two people died in the last month alone, bringing the total national fatality count to 51.
Just as the nation passed out of the incubation period in which experts expected all new cases of fungal meningitis to develop, reports are surfacing of new medical problems for meningitis victims. These "secondary infections" are puzzling health officials.
Less than a week after we last covered the national fungal meningitis outbreak, the death roll has risen to from 19 to 23 people and more than 300 other victims are sick from the contaminated steroids. Our recent post on the outbreak discussed how a sterilization failure could have contaminated the products and new information suggests that this may have indeed played a role.
The fungal meningitis outbreak has taken the nation by surprise and it shows no signs of slowing. As of this week, contaminated steroid treatments have sickened nearly 250 people and 19 of those cases were fatal. These numbers will become outdated quickly as states report more cases every day.