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Fungal Meningitis Update: State Health Departments Played Key Role in Detecting Outbreak

As the fungal meningitis outbreak that began earlier this fall continues to impact the health, safety and welfare of hundreds of Americans, the United States Senate held a Committee on November 15th to discuss the outbreak. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports 510 cases of fungal meningitis, with 36 total deaths as of November 26th. The outbreak has reached 19 states thus far and could continue to spread. The Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held this hearing whose purpose was to discuss the outbreak and to understand how to contain any such infections in the future.

The CDC website reports that Dr. Beth Bell of the CDC discussed the vital role that state health departments played in both detection and warning of this deadly outbreak. She stated that over 250 Federal disease control specialists have been working out of the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the fungal meningitis outbreak response with all levels of federal, state and local health groups. This mass coordination will aid in ensuring patient awareness, development and dissemination of treatment guidelines, and fast public communication. Despite the quick response and coordinated effort on the part of state and local governments, the CDC estimates that nearly 14,000 people may have been exposed to this contaminated steroid medication that caused the outbreak. Therefore, anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

As a reminder, symptoms of fungal meningitis include a stiff neck, headache, dizziness, confusion, and fever. Additionally, if you received treatment at any of the affected Illinois APAC Centers for Pain Management located in Lincoln Park, Thorek Memorial Hospital, or Winchester, please monitor your health closely.

Our attorneys have been following this outbreak since the beginning and continue to monitor the situation closely. Pharmaceutical companies have a duty to distribute safe medications to the public. As mentioned in previous posts about the fungal meningitis outbreak , the New England Compounding Center that is responsible for this widespread outbreak had a filthy and poorly managed facility and did not act with a high regard for human health and safety. As a result, this outbreak continues to affect the health and lives of hundreds of Americans, with two confirmed cases in Illinois thus far.

Fungal meningitis is a life threatening illness that should be taken very seriously. Those responsible for these illnesses and deaths must be held accountable for their negligent actions. Our lawyers understand that when corporations act negligently, their actions not only affect the victims, but their families as well. Our firm has worked tirelessly for the victims of negligence and their families since 1992 and has recovered more than $420 million in verdicts and settlements. If you or a loved one has been affected by this devastating fungal meningitis outbreak, consider contacting our offices for a free consultation to determine your legal rights.