Meningitis wave triggered by contaminated drugs apparently survived in the USA
The meningitis wave triggered by contaminated drugs in the USA appears to have largely survived. The number of affected patients increased almost daily in October. Since then, however, the number of new infections reported has decreased significantly, so that the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) assume that the meningitis wave will gradually subside.
Fungal spore-contaminated steroid painkillers from the manufacturer NECC from Massachusetts, according to the CDC, had caused meningitis in 590 patients in 19 US states in the past months, which cost 37 patients their lives. In view of the significant decline in new infections and taking into account the incubation period, however, it can be assumed that the meningitis wave has now been overcome. However, at the beginning of December, the CDC reported that microbiological contamination had also been found in other drugs from the manufacturer NECC. These products have already been withdrawn from the market, but possible health consequences for users cannot yet be ruled out.
In the meningitis wave, the number of illnesses increased in individual states, since these had taken a large part of the contaminated medication. There were 13 fatalities in Tennessee alone and 10 fatalities in Michigan. The experts estimate that a total of around 30,000 people have received an injection of the contaminated pain reliever into the spinal canal. The fungal spores were able to spread further via the spinal cord fluid, causing a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the meninges in several patients. (fp)
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