This is a significant shift in the presentation of this fungal infection, and quite concerning. An epidural abscess is very serious. It’s not something we expected.Dr. Lakshmi K. Halasyamani, chief medical director at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital • Speaking of a worrisome development regarding the U.S. meningitis outbreak, which has now afflicted more than 400 people across the country. The infections were the result of vials of an injectible steroid, intended for back pain relief, being tainted with a meningitis-causing fungus. Now, some people just recovering from the initial health horror have been stricken with an “epidural abscess” — about a third of the 53 meningitis patients at Dr. Halasyamani’s hospital. The abscess forms where the tainted injection was administered, in this case near the spine, underneath the skin, and untreated can cause another bout of the lethal disease. Medical experts were particularly surprised to find abscesses that had formed even while patients were actively undergoing treatments to combat the fungus. source
The investigators observed approximately 100 vials of the steroid drug, which purports to be a sterile injectable drug, that had a greenish-black foreign material and a white filamentous [containing filaments] material inside.Steven Lynn, director of the FDA’s Office of Manufacturing and Product Quality • Speaking on the contamination of vials of an injectable steroid drug, intended for back pain relief, which resulted in the outbreak of fungal meningitis that has left 25 dead and 300+ afflicted across 18 states. The FDA tested 50 of the vials, produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC), and all of them contained the lethal fungus. source
Should his results come back and he is positive, that causes us a lot of worry. So right now, we have resolved that the remaining prisoners will be cuffed on the beds for fear that they might also escape.Ugandan Ministry of Health commissioner Dr. Jackson Amune • Discussing the escape of a prisoner who may have a case of the Ebola virus — one of 30 being held out of suspicion of having the virus. Despite the earlier WHO reports this morning that the virus was under control, some reporters in the country dispute this. (thanks Patrick deHahn)
It’s very important research. As this virus evolves in nature, we want to be able to rapidly detect … mutations that may indicate that the virus is getting closer to a form that could cross species lines more readily.National Institute of Health science policy director Dr. Amy Patterson • Discussing a lab-produced version of bird flu that NIH officials have warned should not get out of said labs. The reason? It apparently can spread very easily among mammals — leading to fears that terror groups could get a hold of the virus and use it for biological warfare. Which of course is exactly the kind of thing non-sciencey folks love hearing. The NIH, however, says that releasing reports in scientific journals on the disease could ultimately help us understand more about the disease in the long term. We’re seeing flashbacks of this Dustin Hoffman movie in our heads right now. source (via • follow)
» Not like E. Coli or Salmonella: While those diseases are more well-known because outbreaks happen more often, listeria is deadlier, especially for those who are elderly, pregnant or have a weakened immune system. And the disease often manifests itself in a way that makes it tough to detect immediately. “That long incubation period is a real problem,” said the CDC’s Dr. Robert Tauxe. “People who ate a contaminated food two weeks ago or even a week ago could still be falling sick weeks later.” The cantaloupes, from Colorado, were sold in 25 states between late July and early September.