PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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.
Robin and Jeremy

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

May 27 Comment

How Trump, Clinton And Sanders Change Their Voices To Win Over Voters

Charisma is a crucial component of a politician's appeal to voters. But there's more than one way to inspire confidence.

May 27 52 Comments

New York Considers A Ban On Declawing Cats

Some pet owners have routinely had their cats declawed. But opponents say the procedure isn't so simple.

May 27 3 Comments

New Drug-Resistant Bacteria Seen In U.S. For The First Time

The CDC's director has expressed concern, saying it shows that we're close to the "end of the road" for antibiotics.

May 26 6 Comments

As Lethal Heroin Overdose Numbers Rise, Families Find Solace In Organ Donation

Organ banks around the country have noted an increasing number of organs from donors who have died of overdoses.