New Cause Found for the Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

According to the National Institutes of Health, a second tainted steroid has been linked to the ongoing fungal meningitis outbreak that's infected 214 people and killed 15. It's from the same company responsible for the first.

The New England Compounding Center Inc, in Framingham, MA, was known to be responsible for the 52,848 vials of methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid injected to alleviate back pain, that caused the outbreak. Now a second steroid has been linked to the fungal infections: triamcinolone acetonide, which is used to treat irritated skin. There is also concern that a drug used to paralyze the heart is causing infections.

All of NECC's drugs have been recalled as of October 6th, but the existence of more potentially tainted drugs expands the number of people at risk (symptoms take one to four weeks to present themselves, which means more cases could be on the way). Thankfully, though, the fungal form of meningitis is not contagious, so while the group known to be affected has grown, there's no risk of the disease spreading from person to person. [Bloomberg]