Senate hearings into the deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis focused heavily on Tennessee, where the first cases were diagnosed and the most deaths have occurred. The questioning shed new light on how an outpatient clinic at St. Thomas Hospital wound up using hundreds of vials of tainted steroids.
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Nashville’s Saint Thomas Hospital is still treating nearly two-dozen patients who contracted fungal meningitis through a clinic on its West End campus. The hospital has gone out of its way to be helpful during the outbreak while also trying to keep from being blamed.
The discovery of new fungal meningitis infections has slowed down considerably here in Tennessee, where the disease was first identified. An end to the outbreak is in sight, according to the state’s top doctors.
A state panel is chomping at the bit to punish the compounding pharmacy responsible for an outbreak of fungal meningitis that has killed nine Tennesseans. But the Board of Pharmacy was barred from assessing penalties at a special-called meeting Tuesday.
Another 111 people treated for back pain at a St. Thomas Hospital outpatient clinic are being notified of possible exposure to fungal meningitis.
Tennessee health officials have found two new cases of fungal meningitis, bringing the total in the Nashville area to 13. The state has also begun using the word “outbreak” to describe the situation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Tennessee health officials are investigating a cluster of cases of fungal meningitis, two of which have been fatal. The people affected were all given steroid injections for back pain; eleven were at St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery. Officials say a common factor may be tainted medical supplies, potentially affecting more than a dozen other states.