Every day bring news about the large fungal meningitis outbreak that has affected residents across the country. This weekend was no exception. According to recent reports from NBC News, the infected count has risen to 197 patients in 13 different states. In addition, for the first time one of those new cases was identified in Illinois. As we have previously noted, the Illinois Department of Pubic Health has already explained that three APAC clinics in Illinois disbursed the spinal steroid injections. Those clinics include the APAC facility in Westchester, APAC in Lincoln Park, and at the Thorek Memorial Hospital. The IDPH explained that those patients affected shoudl already have been contacted and tested to determine if they’ve contracted the meningitis as a result of the injection.
Brain Membrane Infection
Meningitis is a serious brain inflammation and infection that can prove fatal if not properly treated. Most cases of meningitis are linked to pathogens like a virus or bacteria. However, it can also be caused by a fungus. That is what happened in this case, as several batches of a spinal steroid made at one compounding pharmacy were apparently contaminated. Those batches were sent to medical clinics across the country and eventually made their way into the patient bodies. The steroids were finally recalled in September but not before upwards of 13,000 patients received the injections throughout the summer.
Fungal meningitis is not contagious. Instead, it arises when the fungus enters the body somehow–like via contaminated steroid injections–and then moves to the brain and spine. One particular dangerous thing about fungal meningitis is the fact that signs and symptoms are slow to develop and do not manifest right away. Instead the symptoms are often subtle at first, not getting serious until much later. That is how this sort of outbreak might affect many patients unknowingly even quite some time after the injection. The CDC explains that the signs to look out for include headache, fever, neck stiffness, weakness, sensitivity to light, and slurred speech. Not all symptoms will be present in all patients, and so it is important not to wait to seek medical help even if you only show a few signs.
Illinois Meningitis Lawyer
It goes without saying that if you may have been infected in this outbreak, it is critical to receive necessary medical care immediately. Nothing is more important than your health and well-being. In addition, however, it is important to ensure that your legal rights are also protected. There is no excuse for a patient contracting a potentially deadly brain and spine infection as a result of careless practices by other parties The civil law provides avenues for those affected in these incidents to be compensated for all of their losses. The attorneys at our firm are investigating the situation in order to help Illinois patients harmed by this outbreak. If you or someone you know might be hurt, please call our office as soon as possible to share your story and see how we can help.
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