A recent outbreak of meningitis linked to the injection of contaminated medications has resulted in almost 300 infections and 21 deaths at the time of writing. The epidemic has spread to many East Coast states and has become a major concern for both health officials and NJ chiropractor practitioners.
According to the Center for Disease and Control, New York has just reported a fungal illness, making it the 16th state with outbreak cases. The others are Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Meningitis is caused by the inflammation of protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Tainted spinal injections would directly put germs into that part of the body.
Now patients exposed to the deadly outbreak are suing in effort to freeze the personal assets of executives at the New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy whose injectable steroids have caused the outbreak.
According to Reuters, Peter McGrath, a former federal prosecutor, said he was spear heading a civil case that alleges Massachusetts-based NECC and company officers Barry and Lisa Cadden and Greg Conigliaro are responsible for the tainted drugs. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an unnamed plaintiff in Middlesex County Superior Court in suburban Boston, court records show.
The presence of the deadly Exserohilum fungus in vials of the NECC steroid used for pain injections has been confirmed by U.S. health investigators. They estimate that as many as 14,000 people may have been exposed to the contaminated medication.
Three potentially contaminated lots of the drug, methylprednisolone, were shipped to 76 facilities in 23 states. After confirming contamination in one of the three lots, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they are checking the other two lots for the fungus, as well as additional injectable NECC drugs as a precautionary measure.
According to experts in physical therapy Freehold New Jersey, the purpose of these injections is to decrease the inflammation present in the back due to arthritis, protruding discs or other causes. It is the inflammation that causes the pain and the medication is an anti-inflammatory steroid drug. The treatment has become routine and the recent outbreak highlights the low regulations and oversight in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry.