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Texas meningitis from dangerous steroid product confirmed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention carefully monitors viral and bacterial outbreaks and attempts to track these back to their sources. When a dangerous product is identified, a recall may be issued and vendors may be forced to remove the offending product from the market. Those who have already taken or used the product may, however, already be at risk.

The CDC has now confirmed at least one case of meningitis in Dallas County originating from a tainted batch of injectable steroids that have been shipped across the country. The Dallas County Health and Human Services director made the announcement on Oct. 19 and noted that the injection took place in the county but that the recipient does not live in the area.

At the time of that announcement, the CDC noted 14 deaths directly due to this tainted product produced by New England Compounding Center, and 184 infections in people as a result of receiving the product. Since then, 308 infections have been confirmed nationally and 23 people have died.

As of the Oct. 19 date, the Dallas health department confirmed that Texas Harris Methodist Hospital had injected 114 patients before the product was recalled, and the Dallas Back Pain Management clinic had injected a further 10 to 15 people.

Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that medications and other healthcare products are free of bacteria that can cause infections. Those who believe they have been exposed to infection due to a dangerous product should seek to understand their rights under the law. In many cases, the costs of medical care, ongoing treatment and other unexpected expenses will be covered by any claim upheld in court.

Source: KDFW-TV, "CDC says 1 meningitis case confirmed in Texas," Alice Wolke, Oct. 12, 2012

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