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Author Topic: US Meningitis Outbreak Grows; (From Steroid Injections ?) 700 Cases, 51 dead  (Read 74275 times)
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« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2012, 05:07:06 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/health/another-death-reported-in-meningitis-outbreak.html
Another Death Reported in Meningitis Outbreak
October 13, 2012

Another person has died from fungal meningitis linked to possibly tainted vials of a steroid medication, bringing the death toll in an outbreak to 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday.

The latest victim was in Indiana, which has now reported two deaths from the rare form of meningitis.

The number of people stricken in the outbreak reached 197 on Saturday, up 13 from Friday, the center reported. In addition, there is one case of an infection after an injection in an ankle that has not been confirmed as meningitis.
 ::snipping2::
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 05:15:54 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2012, 02:49:21 PM »

http://www.boston.com/news/local/new-hampshire/2012/10/14/meningitis-outbreak-toll-cases-deaths/XvD1sPVMlSi1k0aaMBMT7H/story.html
Meningitis outbreak toll: 205 cases, 15 deaths
October 14, 2012

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« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2012, 04:50:38 PM »

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/10/15/meningitis-infections-climb-to-212-cdc-says
Meningitis Infections Climb to 212, CDC Says
Number of deaths linked to tainted steroid injections unchanged at 15
October 15, 2012

MONDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Seven more cases of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroid injections have been reported, bringing the total number to 212, U.S. health officials reported Monday.

The number of deaths held steady at 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

There also have been two cases of what the CDC calls "peripheral joint infection," meaning an infection in a knee, hip, shoulder or elbow. These peripheral joint infections -- caused by injections of pain-killing steroids -- aren't considered as dangerous as injections near the spine for back pain that have been tied to the potentially fatal meningitis infections.

All of the patients were thought to be injected with methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid drug often used for back and joint pain that investigators suspect was tainted with a common fungus, according to the CDC.
 ::snipping2:

The 14,000 figure includes not only people who got injections for back pain and are most at risk for meningitis, but also others who received injections for pain in their knees and shoulders. Meningitis is inflammation of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

All of the infected patients are thought to have received the medication from the Massachusetts pharmacy, according to the CDC.
 ::snipping2::
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 04:52:20 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2012, 04:54:39 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/meningitis-outbreak-drugs-probed/story?id=17484597
Meningitis Outbreak: 2 More Drugs Probed
October 15, 2012

Two other drugs made by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) appear to be involved in the fatal meningitis outbreak that has now claimed the lives of 15 people in as many states, the FDA announced Monday.

The FDA said today it is investigating one case of possible meningitis associated with an epidural injection of triamcinolone acetonide and two reports of fungal infection with Aspergillus fumigatus in two transplant patients who were given cardioplegic solution made by the company.

The solution is used to paralyze the cardiac muscle during open-heart surgery.


The new cases bring the total to 214, an increase of 9 since Sunday, the agency said. Most of the cases are fungal meningitis, but the agency is also reporting that two involve peripheral joint infections.

At this point, an FDA release said, "the sterility of any injectable drugs ... and cardioplegic solutions produced by NECC are of significant concern."

"Patients who received these products should be alerted to the potential risk of infection," the agency said.

So far, there have been no cases of infection linked to any ophthalmic drug made by the company that is either injectable or used in eye surgery, "but FDA believes this class of products could present potentially similar risks of infection," the agency said.
 ::snipping2::
In suspected cases, the CDC is recommending that clinicians collect cerebrospinal fluid for culture and initiate both antibiotic and anti-fungal therapy.
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« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2012, 08:53:45 AM »

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1210/13/hcsg.01.html
SANJAY GUPTA MD

Meningitis Outbreak: Pharmacy Failure; Get Tested, Know Your Status

Aired October 13, 2012 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, HOST: Hey there, and thanks for joining us. I'm back home after spending most of this past week chasing down answers in that meningitis outbreak.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GUPTA: Over there, that is the NECC, the compounding facility. Back here, it's a recycling facility, essentially looks like a dump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUPTA: You'll see what else I uncovered in just a moment. It's pretty remarkable stuff.

 ::snipping2::But we begin with the meningitis outbreak, "Under the Microscope".

The plot thickens on the deadly and growing meningitis outbreak that's affecting now so much of the country. At the center of it all, contaminated steroid injections of 14,000 people in 23 states may have received. Now, they were made by NECC. That's a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts that is licensed to distribute drugs in all 50 states.

Compound pharmacies were established so that the pharmacists could make custom specific doses for specific patients with individual needs. The FDA isn't in charged of regulating them for safety, because technically the pharmacies aren't making new drugs. They're just customizing drugs already on the market.

But I'll tell you what? In recent years, pharmacy compounding has grown into a much larger business. In fact, get this, it accounts for 37 million prescription drugs taken by patients in the United States every year. It's a big business, it has little oversight and it impacts all of us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GUPTA: You work here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm security for the facility.

GUPTA: OK.

(voice-over): All week, we have been trying to dig up anything to try to understand how a common steroid injection could have become so deadly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, I have to ask you guys to leave the property.

GUPTA: No one here really wants to talk.

AUTOMATED VOICE: Your call has been forwarded to an automatic --

AUTOMATED VOICE: The number you dialed is not in service.

AUTOMATED VOICE: The call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system.

GUPTA (on camera): All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello?

GUPTA: Hello, I'm trying to get ahold of Barry Cadden?

(voice-over): That one, wrong number.

(on camera): Is there somebody we can actually talk to? We've been living voice messages and --

(voice-over): I even went straight to the home of Barry Cadden. He's the owner of the facility. There was a car parked at the end of the driveway, no visitors allowed. I was told they would call me back, they didn't.

(on camera): We were trying to get information.

We were tipped off about a recycling facility that shares a space with the compounding facility. It's literally in the back yard. It amounted to a garbage dump.

We even saw this health vehicle bringing waste from a nursing home to be disposed of here.

And while there are no laws specifically prohibiting a compounding pharmacy being next to, well, this, the FDA tells us it's all part of the investigation.


But there was something else we noticed. Look closely at the name of this garbage facility connected to the NECC. Conigliaro, well, it turns out this is the maiden name of Barry Cadden's wife, Lisa. She's listed as a pharmacist at the NECC. (on camera): A little bit more digging and we found out that Barry Cadden, Gregory Conigliaro, who is Lisa's brother, are the owners of NECC, that recycling facility, and also this medical facility, called the Ameridose.

(voice-over): They wouldn't even let us on the parking lot here. Now if NECC is big, then Ameridose is the 800 pound guerilla. NECC has 21 employees and generated $8 million in revenue. Ameridose, 400 employees, generated $100 million in a year.

Ameridose does drug manufacturing, which is regulated by the FDA. But they also do add-mixing, that's a form of compounding. And that's regulated by the state pharmacy board.

(on camera): And here's something else, there's a woman named Sophia Pasedis. She's the vice president of compliance here at Ameridoes. But she was also appointed to the state pharmacy board back in 2008. We asked them about that, they say she has recused herself of all matters related to Ameridose and NECC.

(voice-over): Both companies have done business with the United States government. In fact, more than $800,000 worth of drug orders were placed with them by government agencies since 2007.

Together, both these companies produce hundreds of thousands of medication doses. And now, both have shut down their operations.

(END VIDEOTAPE)
GUPTA: And the Massachusetts Department of Health didn't say there was any direct evidence of contamination when it comes to products for Ameridose, but one thing this outbreak exposes is the incredible lack of oversight of compound pharmacies, which can put the public at incredible risk, as we've seen here. We're going to continue to try to push the state health department and the FDA to try to get you some answers.
 ::snipping2::

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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2012, 10:24:43 AM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/16/us-usa-health-meningitis-idUSBRE8970TQ20121016
Meningitis outbreak "nowhere near the end": health expert
October 16, 2012

(Reuters) - The meningitis outbreak that has so far killed 15 people and sickened more than 200 others is "nowhere near the end," a top medical expert said Tuesday, a day after federal authorities warned more tainted drugs may be linked to the health crisis.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said on "CBS This Morning" that he expects a "steady increase" in the number of fungal meningitis infections over the coming weeks.

The move on Monday by the Food and Drug Administration to widen its investigation into the cause of the fungal meningitis outbreak to other drugs made by a Massachusetts pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center (NECC), is "ominous," Schaffner said.
More...

New England Compounding Center Issues
Voluntary Nationwide Recall of All Products
Product List
 

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm322979.htm
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« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2012, 03:53:49 PM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/16/us-usa-health-meningitis-cases-idUSBRE89E19V20121016
CDC says another 19 people diagnosed with meningitis in U.S. outbreak
October 16, 2012

(Reuters) - Another 19 people have been diagnosed with fungal meningitis linked to possibly tainted vials of a steroid medication, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 231.
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« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2012, 10:10:21 PM »

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57533617/233-now-infected-in-growing-meningitis-outbreak/
233 now infected in growing meningitis outbreak
October 16, 2012

A fungal meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroid injections made by a Massachusetts company has infected 233 Americans as of Oct. 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.

Two of the cases may be joint infections from steroid shots given in peripheral joints such as the knee, hip, shoulder and elbow.

The outbreak has been linked primarily to methylprednisolone acetate steroid shots used for back pain made by a specialty pharmacy in Framingham, Mass. called the New England Compounding Center. Up to 14,000 patients may have been exposed to those contaminated injections that were sent to 76 facilities in 23 states. The Department of Justice confirmed Tuesday that they are investigating the allegations.
 ::snipping2::


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« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2012, 10:34:01 PM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/17/us-usa-health-meningitis-idUSBRE8970TQ20121017
Feds raid Massachusetts lab tied to meningitis outbreak
October 16, 2012

(Reuters) - Federal agents on Tuesday raided the Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a widespread meningitis outbreak that has killed 16 people and sickened more than 200 others, federal prosecutors said.

Agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration searched the New England Compounding Center, or NECC, in the Boston suburb of Framingham, with officers from the local police department providing support, Framingham police said.

The raid took place as calls came for an even wider probe into whether the once obscure pharmacy may have broken federal laws dealing with controlled substances, and as additional meningitis cases were announced.

Carmen Ortiz, U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, said in a statement, "I can confirm that this office and our law enforcement partners are investigating allegations concerning the New England Compounding Center."

Ortiz said it was "entirely premature" to speculate about what might be uncovered.

A lawyer for NECC, said the raid was unnecessary and that "asking would have produced the same result."
 ::snipping2::
The FDA's criminal unit, the Office of Criminal Investigations, is a team of agents with specialized knowledge and training to investigate violations of food and drug laws. It pursues about 1,200 criminal cases each year.

The raid came as a leading U.S. lawmaker called for an investigation of whether the compounding pharmacy violated federal laws covering potentially addictive drugs.

The U.S. meningitis outbreak is widening. A 16th death was announced on Tuesday, a patient from southwest Virginia, that state's Department of Health said in a statement.
 ::snipping2::

Massachusetts Democratic Representative Edward Markey, a senior member of the committee that oversees business, called on the Justice Department to investigate whether NECC violated federal laws designed to stem illegal activity in controlled drugs.

The company already faces multiple investigations by the FDA and several states, but Markey's request could launch an even more serious probe involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, which oversees sales of potentially addictive, or "controlled" drugs.
 ::snipping2::
In compounding, pharmacies prepare specific doses of approved medications, based on guidance from a doctor, to meet an individual patient's need.

A Reuters investigation found that NECC solicited bulk orders from physicians and failed to require proof of individual patient prescriptions as required under state regulations, emails to a customer showed.

State pharmacy regulators have said that NECC violated its license in Massachusetts by not requiring patient prescriptions before shipping products.
More...
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« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2012, 05:42:09 PM »

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/GeneralNeurology/35385
Meningitis Outbreak: 4 More Deaths
By David Pittman, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: October 17, 2012


The fungal meningitis outbreak has claimed another four lives, and an additional 14 cases have been added to the tally of illnesses traced to a contaminated steroid from the New England Compounding Center (NECC), the CDC announced Wednesday.

The total number of cases nationwide is now 247 in 15 states with 19 deaths, according to the agency's latest update on the nearly 2-week-old outbreak.


Two of the new cases and two of the new deaths were in Tennessee, bringing that hardest-hit state's total to 61 cases and four deaths.

The other two new deaths occurred in Virginia and Florida. Additional cases were also reported in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia.

As reported by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz late Tuesday, federal agents raided the NECC facility in Framingham, Mass., that made the contaminated steroid implicated in the nationwide outbreak.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2012, 04:10:39 PM »

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20221018more_fungus_at_framingham_pharmacy_linked_to_outbreak/srvc=home&position=recent
More fungus at Framingham pharmacy linked to outbreak
October 18, 2012

Federal authorities say they’ve found meningitis-linked fungus in an unopened vial from the Framingham pharmacy at the center of the nationwide meningitis outbreak, a find that “further links” the now-shuttered facility to the multi-state crisis that has already killed at least 19 people.

The Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement today the fungus, known as Exserohilum rostratum, was detected in one of the three implicated batches of steroid injections the New England Compounding Center shipped to 23 states. They said the new fungus find matches specimens taken from infected patients.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2012, 07:21:56 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-meningitis-outbreak-20121018,0,4362343.story
Fungal meningitis outbreak claims 20 lives
October 18, 2012

The number of deaths linked to a rare fungal meningitis outbreak rose to 20 on Thursday as health officials announced new evidence tying the illnesses to tainted steroid medication.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, scientists have confirmed the presence of a fungus known as Exserohilum rostratum in unopened vials of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate that were packaged by New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

The vials belonged to one of three lots of medicine that NECC had produced. The company has since been shut down.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2012, 09:23:03 PM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/19/us-usa-health-meningitis-idUSBRE89H1DM20121019
FDA finds fungus in steroid shots, meningitis toll rises
October 18, 2012

(Reuters) - U.S. health officials made their first confirmation of the presence of a deadly fungus in one of three lots of steroids tied to a national meningitis outbreak as the death toll rose to 20 on Thursday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was still testing two additional lots of methylprednisolone acetate, the steroid used to treat back pain, for the presence of the rare Exserohilum fungus. It is also testing other injectable drugs that were supplied by the New England Compounding Center, or NECC, in Massachusetts.

"Now we can definitively say that the injections are linked to the infection," Dr. Tom Chiller, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters in an interview. "To date, CDC has no firm evidence of infection in any patients beyond those exposed to the contaminated lots."

THE CDC said the death toll climbed by one to 20, while nine new cases brought the national total to 254, including the first in New York - the 16th state with confirmed infections.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2012, 02:40:09 PM »

http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/APNewsBreak-Questions-for-Medicare-in-outbreak-3964532.php
APNewsBreak: Questions for Medicare in outbreak
October 19, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare is coming under scrutiny in the meningitis outbreak that has rekindled doubts about the safety of the nation's drug supply.

The giant health insurance program for seniors long ago flagged compounded drugs produced for the mass market without oversight from the Food and Drug Administration as safety risks. In 2007, Medicare revoked coverage of compounded inhaler drugs for lung disease.

But Medicare doesn't seem to have consistently used its own legal power to deny payment, and critics say that has enabled the compounding business to flourish.

Now program officials are scrambling to find out how many Medicare beneficiaries are among the more than 250 people sickened in 16 states in a still-growing outbreak that has claimed 20 lives.
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« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2012, 02:47:46 PM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/19/us-usa-health-meningitis-idUSBRE89I0UB20121019
Meningitis suit seeks freeze of pharmacy owners' assets
October 19, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Peter McGrath, a former federal prosecutor, said he was spear heading a civil case that alleges Massachusetts-based NECC and company officers Barry and Lisa Cadden and Greg Conigliaro are responsible for the tainted drugs. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an unnamed plaintiff in Middlesex County Superior Court in suburban Boston, court records show.

"We want to pierce the corporate veil and go after the individuals," McGrath said Friday in a telephone interview. "My clients are in a lot of pain."

His firm, based in Concord, New Hampshire, is representing several people injured in the meningitis outbreak.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2012, 03:50:54 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/AP87a98d7b62944636b80d596cadf91708.html
Meningitis outbreak toll: 271 cases, 21 deaths
October 19, 2012


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« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2012, 03:10:22 PM »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/20/us-usa-health-meningitis-idUSBRE89I0UB20121020
U.S. says death toll rises to 23 in meningitis outbreak
October 20, 2012

(Reuters) - The U.S. death toll from fungal meningitis linked to potentially contaminated steroid injections has risen to 23 with one new death each reported in Tennessee and North Carolina, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday.

States reported 13 new cases of fungal meningitis, raising the total to 281, the CDC said. There are also three peripheral infections in the outbreak caused by injections into joints.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2012, 03:16:03 PM »

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/20/14579269-fungal-meningitis-victims-face-long-uncertain-recovery?lite&google_editors_picks=true
Fungal meningitis victims face long, uncertain recovery
October 20, 2012

 ::snipping2::
Health officials have noticed that the sickest patients with meningitis are those who either did not catch the symptoms early or who didn't receive appropriate treatment early because doctors didn't know what they were dealing with. The fungi become harder to kill once they have established themselves in a person's body.
"If treatment is given early, it is very effective," said Dr. David Reagan, medical officer for Tennessee, where the outbreak was first detected. "If it is given late, it is not very effective."
Most of the positively identified cases are caused by Exserohilum rostratum (ex-sir-oh-HY-lum ross-TRAH-tum). The fungus is commonly found in the environment, but it has never before been observed as a cause of meningitis.
Because of that, Reagan said, officials have been unable to firmly establish the incubation period and give those who received the tainted injections a date for when they will no longer need to worry about developing meningitis.
"We're saying at least six weeks, or 42 days, but we probably will extend that," he said. "This is new territory. There's no literature to tell us how long."
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2012, 07:10:26 AM »

I hope the death toll from the cases will come to a full stop now,  as victims are identified and receive treatment earlier.  From what I've been reading, those who are in treatment still don't know the extent of the damage and how long they may need to continue treatment and what effect the illness has on their health and prospects for the rest of their lives.   

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillypharma/CDC-says-meningitis-outbreak-up-to-285-cases-and-23-deaths.html
CDC says meningitis outbreak up to 285 cases and 23 deaths
October 22, 2012

CDC Webiste:
http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/outbreaks/meningitis.html
Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Investigation
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« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2012, 07:13:40 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-necc-sued-fungal-meningitis-outbreaks-patient-zero-20121019,0,6093382.story
As NECC is sued, meningitis outbreak's patient zero is autopsied
October 19, 2012

With the toll from the fungal meningitis outbreak up to 21 dead and 247 sickened, and as the compounding facility responsible for fungus-tainted drugs is hit with a lawsuit, researchers have looked back at the first case that alerted them to the disease. Their results were published online Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
 ::snipping2::


http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/12/science/la-sci-meningitis-q-and-a-20121012
Meningitis outbreak: Some questions and answers
October 12, 2012
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