Meningitis Outbreak in North Carolina Linked to Tainted Drug Injections

According to the State Health Director, Lauren Gerald, a Davidson County resident passed away recently as a result of complications from meningitis. There was recently a multi-state outbreak of this disease. As of late October, there were more than 280 cases of fungal meningitis that were identified in the country, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

These cases included two that were in North Carolina. Altogether, there are close to 30 who have died. These illnesses were caused by some fungi that is not uncommon in the environment, but it is a kind that rarely causes meningitis. Luckily, this form is not contagious. In this case, the outbreak is being blamed by state and federal health officials on unsanitary conditions at a pharmaceutical compounding facility in New England.
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“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family on the loss of their loved one,” said Gerald. “Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”

Our Charlotte personal injury attorneys understand that there is one resident of North Carolina who is still being treated for their conditions, but is no longer in the hospital. Still, the threat is serious. Meningitis is a very serious disease that causes inflammation of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. These membranes are also known as the meninges, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Typically, this kind of inflammation is caused by an infection of the fluid around the spinal cord and brain.

What Can Cause Meningitis?

-Viruses/Bacteria
-Specific Drugs
-Cancer.
-Physical Injury.

In the most recent case of Fungal Meningitis, there were a number of patients who suffered strokes — which were believed to have been a result of the infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Meningitis:

-Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
-Nausea
-Vomiting
-Stiff Neck
-Headache
-Fever
-Altered Mental Status

Who is at risk? Residents who already have certain diseases, are on specific medications or have undergone certain surgical procedures that weaken the immune system. Those who have received notice that they were injected with a back pain steroid mixed by the New England Compounding Facility are at highest risk.

Depending on what caused the infection, meningitis can solve itself on its own in just a couple of weeks. On the other hand, it can be a life-threatening emergency. When treating this condition, a patient will usually have to undergo long courses of high dose anti-fungal meds. These medications are usually given through an IV. How long a patient needs these meds depends on the severity of their case.

If you suspect that you or someone in your family has meningitis, it’s important for you to seek medical care right away. Early recognition and treatment can help you to prevent serious complications!

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Contaminated Drinking Water Threatening Wake Forest Residents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, October 30, 2012

Carolina E. coli Hospitalizations on the Rise, One Child Dead, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, October 24, 2012

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