Many local residents should be on the lookout this week for any signs or symptoms of a rare form of fungal meningitis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that meningitis is an inflammation of certain membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Most cases of meningitis are related to a virus or bacteria. However, in rare cases, a fungus may be the cause of the infection.
All forms of meningitis are serious, requiring quick and, often-prolonged, treatment. Failure to get that treatment may result in serious injury or even death.
The latest scare involves a rash of fungal meningitis in well over a hundred patients across the country. The CDC notes that the cause of the problem has been traced to a pharmaceutical compounding plant in New England. The compounding plant takes medications made elsewhere and converts them to appropriate doses to be given to patients. The finished products are then shipped to clinics across the country.
Somehow a batch of steroids at the facility was exposed to the fungus. Over 17,000 vials of the steroid-an epidural pain medication-were shipped out to twenty three states, including Illinois. Of that product, over 13,000 may have actually been given to patients-placing them at risk of developing the fungal meningitis. Over 100 cases have already been identified, with several of those affected patients dying as a result of the contamination.
Medical & Legal Help Following Illinois Meningitis Outbreak
The Illinois Department of Public Health notes that patients at three clinics in Illinois may have received the tainted epidural. Those facilities include the APAC facility at the Thorek Hospital Professional Building in Chicago, the APAC Lincoln Park, and the APAC at Westchester, Illinois’s Prairie Medical Building. The IDPH notes that those patients who received the painkiller should already have been contacted. They have been tested for meningitis and many are awaiting results.
The CDC notes that fungal meningitis is not contagious. It cannot be passed from person to person via exposure. Instead, the fungus has to enter the body somewhere, and then it travels to the membrane. However, it is still important for all local residents to be aware of the basic signs and symptoms of the problems so that emergency care can be provided if necessary. Those symptoms include neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and headaches. You do not have to show all of those symptoms to seek help Also, the CDC explains that symptoms develop more slowly in fungal meningitis patients as exposed to those who develop meningitis from other pathogens.
If you or someone you know may be affected by this outbreak, please take a moment to contact the attorneys at our firm. We are working with all those involved to ensure they receive proper redress and to hold the accountable company responsible for its conduct. These legal cases are often quite complex, and time-consuming. However, our legal team has experience in these product liability matters and can help resolve the problem in a fair and straight-forward manner-ensuring you receive all to which you are entitled.
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