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Meningitis Outbreak Prompts Multi-State Wrongful Death Suits

Minnesota is just one of a number of states in which wrongful death lawsuits have been filed as a result of the fungal meningitis outbreak that resulted from contaminated epidural prednisone steroid injections manufactured by the New England Compounding Center (NECC)

Right now, attorneys are gathering evidence for wrongful death lawsuits against NECC, especially after it was revealed that the NECC facility was not the cleanest environment for medication to be manufactured.

It is unknown exactly how many wrongful death lawsuits will result from the outbreak, as there are still new cases coming about. Although it may have been a while since the victims were injected with the drug, the symptoms can come on slowly. They are very mild at first, but the symptoms worsen over time. Those symptoms can include fever, headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. A person may later become dizzy, have sensitivity to bright lights, experience pain, feel weak or numb, and there may be swelling and redness at the injection site.

All clinics that had received the contaminated steroid were notified and they contacted patients who had been injected. The recalled injections started being administered on May 21, 2012 and the symptoms can take one to four weeks to develop.

Thus far, as of the first week of November, there were 424 illnesses and these included 31 deaths and 10 joint infections. A total of 19 states are affected.

There is also an issue in which meningitis victims are experiencing new infections. Just when some of them have been released from the hospital, they develop such issues as epidural abscesses, which is an infection of the spine's epidural layer. The CDC has also confirmed that some patients are suffering from arachnoiditis, which is when the spinal nerve roots compress.

The CDC has said that the abscesses are odd because abscesses typically preceded meningitis rather than show up after. While the abscesses can be easily treated, the arachnoiditis can be somewhat more difficult because it affects a deeper layer.

Nonetheless, it is not surprising that the meningitis victims are developing other conditions because the immune system is weakened.

In addition to the lawsuits that NECC is facing, it is also the subject of a federal probe. So far over two dozen personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed.

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