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Fungal Meningitis Patients Still Suffering on Anniversary of Epidemic

Steve Wagner

Is it really over?
A year since the FDA announced the multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis (Exserohilum rostratum) last fall, victims are still anxious about their health. Fear of relapse looms large in spite of treatment. Some survivors still suffer pain and additional worrisome complications. For others like Patricia Martin it is the anniversary of the death of her mother Mary Neal Martin, who succumbed to the deadly fungus. Of the 750 fungal meningitis related cases reported across the country, 64 victims died from the illness. The latest diagnosed case was after July 2013, and actual fatalities could be higher.

The nationwide epidemic was caused by fungus contaminated steroid injections (preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate) manufactured at the New England Compounding Center, a Massachusetts pharmacy. The outbreak still raises concern regarding safety of medicines and possible drug related injuries. On September 18, 2012, the Tennessee Health Department learned that the spinal fluid of a patient who had been given epidural injections was infected with fungus. The nationwide investigation that followed traced the source, but over 17,000 vials had been delivered to 23 centers. A large number of patients were at risk of illness.

Some victims have not yet fully recovered from the effects of the contaminated shots, and even more people may become infected. Some are suffering from the side effects of the strong anti-fungal, life saving medication. Others taken off medication fear they may suffer a relapse, as several patients have been referred back to hospitals for further treatment.

Legal recourse for victims
A drug injury of this magnitude clearly indicates medical negligence at various levels. Expenses for treatment are very high. Only an experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be able to advise victims on all aspects of the drug injury claim. They deserve the best possible medical injury compensation.

The deadline for filing claims in this case is drawing near, and Indiana victims are being advised to make their claims without delay. If you or a loved one has been affected by the fungal meningitis outbreak, contact the medical malpractice and drug injury attorneys at Wagner Reese law firm for a free consultation about your case.

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