90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Friday, October 26, 2012

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Is Uncharted Territory For Doctors

Microbiologist Shawn Lockhart looks at the meningitis-causing fungus Exserohilum rostratum at the mycotic lab at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The staff and technicians have been working around the clock to confirm cases and inform the public regarding the multi-state meningitis outbreak. (Pouya Dianat/AP)

So far, 24 people have died and 328 have been sickened by the outbreak of fungal meningitis that originated from three lots of tainted steroid produced by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

“What’s crucial to remember about this outbreak of fungal meningitis is that the pathogen is not something we normally see infecting humans,” Dr. Lakshmi Halasyamani, chief medical officer at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., told Here & Now.

As a result, some of the symptoms being reported in the outbreak – such as seizures – are unusual for fungal meningitis, Halasyamani said.

While federal and state investigations of the contamination continue, lawsuits against the New England Compounding center have already been filed in several states.

The compounding center voluntarily stopped its operations after it was linked to the outbreak. Since then, the state Board of Registration in Pharmacy has voted to permanently revoke its license to operate.

Read the latest coverage by WBUR health care reporter Martha Bebinger:

Guests:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • tncanoeguy

    How is it possible that this company is still in business?  Surely lawsuits will put them under, and rightly so.  

    • Rachel Rohr, Here & Now

      The New England Compounding Center voluntarily stopped its operations after it was linked to the outbreak. Since then, the state Board of Registration in Pharmacy has voted to permanently revoke its license to operate. We’ll update the story above to include this detail. Thanks for your comment!

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 29 Comment

World Championship Tug-Of-War Is ‘A Thing Of Beauty’

This weekend's competition in Wisconsin is a bit more intense than it was in your grade school gym class.

August 29 Comment

Repelling Mosquitoes With A Natural Sticky Patch

The Kite Patch releases odors that block the bug's carbon dioxide receptors, sending them in another direction.

August 28 Comment

Catching Up With The Polyphonic Spree

The choral rock band out of Dallas, Texas, has been thrilling audiences with its live performances for over a decade.

August 28 5 Comments

‘Enormous’ Growth Of Ocean Garbage Patch

The oceanographer who discovered the floating island of trash in 1997 says he's shocked by how much it's grown.