At least eight people have been confirmed dead as the result of the meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroids. Officials fear this number will climb much higher. As many as 13,000 people have received the steroid shot containing the meningitis causing fungus, and as of Monday, 105 people nationally were sickened by the outbreak. It is unknown how many California and San Francisco residents are at risk for infection.
Fungal meningitis is characterized by an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. The risk of an infection is greatly increased when a patient receives a steroid shot in the back, as any contaminant may come in direct contact with that lining.
If you or someone you love has received a steroid shot and may have been contaminated, it is important to consult with a top San Francisco meningitis law firm right away.
Symptoms of fungal meningitis include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe headaches
- Stiff neck
- Sensitivity to light
Although the symptoms may be mild at first, seeking medical attention right away is important to ensure you get the help you need before the illness progresses. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) fungal meningitis symptoms show up anywhere from one to four weeks after patients received the shots.
Investigators believe that a steroid medication – known as preservative-free methylprednisolone - produced by a specialty pharmacy is the source of the outbreak after finding at least one sealed vial contaminated with the fungus. However, the potential for harm is widespread. Around 17,7000 single-dose vials of the steroid were distributed throughout the country. Last month the first reported case of fungal meningitis was diagnosed in Tennessee. New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., issued a recall of the drug along with all other products it manufactures.
For more information or if you believe you or a loved one may have been contaminated, please contact the experienced California meningitis lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP right away. Our firm has a long history of helping individuals and the families of those infected with meningitis obtain the compensation they deserve.