As of Oct. 14, 2012, more than 200 cases of fungal meningitis with 15 deaths have been reported in 14 states according to NBC.com.
These cases of fungal meningitis are believed to have been caused by three lots of preservative-free steroid methylprednisolone acetate from the specialty pharmacy New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.
Injections of the offending steroid may have been given to 14,000 people.
The FDA found contaminants at the New England Compounding Center. The Center shut down voluntarily on Oct. 1, 2012 and has recalled three lots of the steroid.
Ameridose, a sister company to NECC was also under investigation. Yahoo.com said that Ameridose shut down for 12 days for inspections. At this time no contamination has been found.
The CDC and FDA advised that all products from the NECC should be avoided, as reported on Oct. 4, 2012 by CBSNews.com.
Clinics in 23 states were instructed to notify any patients who may have been administered this product. Dr. Benjamin Park, medical epidemiologist for the CDC, said that anyone concerned about whether they may have received this steroid can contact their physicians.
Park has identified 23 states which are potentially affected by the contaminated steroid.
These are California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and West Virginia.
Director of the FDA office of compliance, Ilisa Bernstein, cautioned that this list of affected areas may not be all-inclusive. Other areas may also be in danger from the products.
This is not the first time the New England Compounding Center has been investigated for infractions with complaints filed in 2002, 2003 and March of 2012.
President of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilit University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. Dr. William Schaffner explained something about the infection.