As of October 18, 2012, the multistate fungal meningitis outbreak has caused 20 deaths. The total number of reported cases has now risen to 257. With new fungal meningitis infections coming to light almost daily, many victims are looking for a meningitis outbreak lawyer with a national practice focus for help bringing suit against the maker of the steroid injections that have been linked to the deadly epidemic.
Background of the Outbreak and Telltale Fungal Meningitis Symptoms
As many as 14,000 patients were exposed to tainted steroid injections produced by the New England Compounding Center. The shots were used to treat pain and inflammation, and were administered via a spinal injection.
Three lots of the preservative-free steroid methylprednisolone acetate were voluntarily recalled by the New England Compounding Center in late September. Just a few days later, a recall of all New England Compounding Center products was announced as a precautionary measure.
Although the exact cause of the meningitis is still under investigation, federal health inspectors discovered fungus particles in unopened vials at the New England Compounding Center plant in early October. Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covered the brain and spinal cord that can be caused by fungi.
Unlike viral and bacterial meningitis, fungal meningitis is not contagious. Fungal meningitis is a serious illness, however; symptoms that appear mild at first often worsen over time. Headache, fever, nausea, stiffness, confusion dizziness and sensitivity to light are all symptoms associated with fungal meningitis.
In this outbreak, symptoms have most commonly appeared one to four weeks following a steroid injection, although longer and shorter periods between getting a tainted shot and the onset of symptoms have been reported.
Lawsuits Getting Underway As More Victims Seek Steroid Meningitis Lawyer
The first lawsuits stemming from the fungal meningitis outbreak have already been filed. For example, a Minneapolis victim has filed suit in federal court, and her lawyers are currently trying to get a class certified in Minnesota.
It may seem a bit premature to be in court, considering that federal regulations are still in the midst of investigating the outbreak. But, if you or a family member has been put at risk of contracting fungal meningitis, you may need an experienced attorney sooner than you think.
So far, fungal meningitis cases linked to the tainted steroid injections have been reported in 16 states; much of the litigation arising out of the outbreak will have a nationwide focus. That being the case, victims may contact attorneys outside of their home states to seek legal representation with the most qualified team of attorneys.
If you or a family has recently been diagnosed with fungal meningitis, or if you may have been the recipient of a tainted steroid injection, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side to collect the full compensation you're entitled to. Contact a drug recall attorney today to learn more about your legal options.