Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Tennessee Fungal Meningitis Cases Increase To 80

The Tennessee Health Department reported that the number of cases of fungal meningitis in Tennessee has increased to 80, the number of deaths remains at 13. The current outbreak, which is not contagious has sickened over 400 and killed over 30 in 19 states. Fungal meningitis occurs when a fungus enters the body and affects the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord lining. The current outbreak is being linked to contaminated vials of methylprednisolone acetate, steroids injected for back pain.

The steroids were made and distributed from a compounding pharmacy in Framingham, Massachusetts, the New England Compounding Center. They are being investigated for concerns with sterility and how the fungus got into the vials. A greenish-black fungus was reported being seen in the vials. About 17,000, or three lots, were distributed to 23 states in the U.S. While being investigated the New England Compounding Center has stopped production and recalled its products. Two other pharmacies in Massachusetts, including sister company, Ameridose, are also being investigated.

Patients are reporting symptoms like fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, slurred speech, vision changes, pain and swelling at the site of the injection, weakness and numbness. These symptoms seem to arise one to four weeks after receiving a contaminated injection but are milder than the symptoms of the other types of meningitis. Peripheral joint damage is also being reported by patients who got the shots in their joints, knees and shoulders.

If you or a loved one received an injection and are experiencing any symptoms or think you could be at risk for fungal meningitis, get in contact with your health

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