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The Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Of The United States

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In September 2012, the United States faced an issue of unprecedented number and range of impact. It was during this time that the United States faced its largest fungal meningitis outbreak to be documented. (Smith) The first documentation of the fungal meningitis occurred in ten individuals in Tennessee and North Carolina shortly after October 1, 2012. (Morbidity and Mortality) The investigation into the outbreak began with the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working alongside local and state healthcare agencies which would report the numbers of infection. (Smith) These investigations which spanned the entire nation focused on preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) originating from a single compounding…show more content…
(Smith) This led to the recall of lot 08 as well as any unused lots from the New England Compounding Center. Although this recall protected more Americans from the exposure of E. rostratum, it came too late for many others.
Court Hearing of NECC
The court was called into order by Senator Harkin who described the outbreak as “one of the worst health crises this country has experienced in recent years”. (Pharmacy Compounding) At this point, the outbreak had claimed the lives of 32 Americans and had infected 461 while many more continued to wait and see if they too would become the next victim. (Pharmacy Compounding) The contamination originated from the New England Compounding Center where is seemed to Senator Harkin that “the owners and managers gave no regard to the procedures that ensure sterility”. (Pharmacy Compounding) Like many in that court room, Senator Harkin wonder the question of: how could this have happened? As the trial continued, many wondered how over 17,000 doses could become so contaminated that black specks could be seen with the naked eye. (Pharmacy Compounding) They also began to wonder who really was to blame in the outbreak. Was the blame to be put on the New England Compounding Center or those who regulate the compounding industry?
The answer to this question became more and more complex as the lists of failures from NECC to follow regulation at the state level were brought into the light of the court room.
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