Commentary by Todd Payne:
Meningitis is a serious and potentially fatal infection near the brain and spinal cord that can cause brain damage or death. So far, twenty-three (23) people have died in sixteen (16) states.
The meningitis cases recently reported arise out of FDA investigators reportedly finding ‘foreign matter’ in an unopened vile of Methylprednisolone Acetate compounded by New England Compounding Company (NECC). NECC’s plant is located in Framingham, Mass. Methylprednisolone Acetate, commonly referred to as corticosteroid hormone, is used in the mitigation of pain and inflammation with arthritis and similar joint disorders. However, some people use this medication for off-label purposes that include the treatment of blood disorders, severe allergic reactions, cancer, eye conditions, and immune system disorders.
The CDC said it is still too early to tell how many patients will be affected by this outbreak, but the numbers are expected to rise significantly in the near future. A total of 17,676 potentially tainted vials of Methylprednisolone Acetate were included in the original recall. As a safety precaution, NECC voluntarily recalled all remaining lots of the drug – as well as all other medications processed at the company’s plant – nationwide on October 6, 2012. The Methylprednisolone Acetate affected by this recall was shipped out to 75 clinics in 23 states. http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis-facilities-map.html is a link listing the facilities that received the contaminated vials.
Fungal meningitis/septic arthritis can be tricky to diagnose because the symptoms may seem insignificant and non-descript. Symptoms may include:
photophobia (sensitivity to light)
altered mental states
If you have any doubt about your health and possible contamination, don’t hesitate to consult a physician.