Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that a rare form of fungal meningitis has afflicted 119 people in several states across the country, including North Carolina. While the CDC stresses that this type of meningitis is not contagious like its viral or bacterial counterparts, a total of 11 people have died due to the ailment. The CDC has linked the outbreak to a steroid injected into a patient's spine in order to treat lower back pain.
Despite the deaths and illness associated with the outbreak, it is unclear whether the distributor of the infected medicine will face wrongful death lawsuits or other legal action. Likewise, many doctors around the country administered the dangerous injections to patients, which could potentially make them liable for some of the infections. North Carolina residents who have contracted fungal meningitis following a steroid injection should contact an experienced attorney to learn more about seeking damages compensating them for their medical costs as well as any injuries caused by their illness.
The Food and Drug Administration announced that the facility that produced the injections has shut down and ceased distribution operations after an investigation found that its drugs were contaminated with dangerous fungus. However, many people received injections before news of the outbreak was announced, with new reports of individuals contracting fungal meningitis continuing to appear. Meningitis can take up to four weeks to manifest symptoms, accounting for many of the growing cases. Similarly, some individuals may have become sick but remained undiagnosed until knowledge of the outbreak became public.
Fungal meningitis occurs when membranes protecting the spinal cord and brain became inflamed or begin swelling. As with viral and bacterial forms, individuals with fungal meningitis typically experience symptoms such as stiff necks, high fevers, increasingly severe headaches and even strokes.
Source: Yahoo! News, "Meningitis Death Toll Hits 11 as Cases Continue to Mount," Oct. 9, 2012