Meningitis Symptoms Worsen As Outbreak Grows

November 6, 2012

The window for developing meningitis symptoms in the outbreak caused by (now recalled) steroid injections has not yet closed, and new cases of spinal meningitis are still being discovered. Over 400 people have developed meningitis symptoms (many of which are now having secondary complications) and 30 (and growing) have died from the disease.

The pharmaceutical manufacturer responsible for the contaminated vials has shut down, and recalled all their products. It’s come to light that they had a history of manufacturing problems that were not addressed (or weakly addressed) by state regulators.

Now, as spinal meningitis cases continue to be discovered, many are developing new meningitis symptoms. An epidural abscess, pus between/along the brain, spinal cords, and spine bones, usually precedes meningitis symptoms. In many (puzzling) cases, however, it’s developing as a secondary symptom to the original brain infection.

Treating a fungus, no matter where it is on the body, isn’t easy. Fungal meningitis treatment—getting medication into what is normally a very protected part of the body (the brain and spine), a part that is more susceptible to complications once infection occurs—isn’t easy or quick. Any fungal medication has to be intense to completely eradicate the infection (read: lots of side-effects). When you’re treating the brain, those problems become worse—and the longer it takes, the more risk for damage.

So to hear that with meningitis treatment victims of the outbreak are having unexpected complications makes the whole scenario that much worse. Because the infection is not progressing as anticipated, anyone who received a tainted steroid injection needs to remain vigilant for months, watching for meningitis symptoms.

What is your reaction to the fungal meningitis outbreak?

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