A pharmacy in Framingham is under scrutiny as more people have been infected with meningitis after receiving steroid injections for back pain.
The meningitis outbreak has been linked to the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, reports The Boston Globe.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there had been 47 cases of meningitis, with five fatalities. The cases were reported largely in Tennessee, with 29 cases and three deaths.
But as of Monday, that number had risen to 105 cases, with eight people dead, reports The Associated Press. No cases have been reported in Massachusetts or other New England states.
The fungal meningitis outbreak is linked to a medication called methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid used to control pain and swelling that typically occurs with joint disorders, according to WebMD.
The NECC has voluntarily recalled the medication, and those who have been injected with the steroid are being urged to seek medical care before the infection sets in. According to the CDC, symptoms typically arise one to four weeks after injection and may include fever, headache, nausea, and stiff neck.
The contaminated product was shipped to several states, and while the medication wasn't shipped to Massachusetts facilities, the NECC could be looking at lawsuits in Massachusetts court, if any of the afflicted decide to sue.
The typical lawsuit in cases like these would be product liability lawsuits, in which the injured party would allege that the injury occurred due to a dangerous condition in the product, likely a defect either in the design or the manufacture.
Most problematic for the pharmacy would be the deaths that have already occurred as a result of the injections. These could subject the NECC to wrongful death lawsuits by surviving family members of those who died as the result of the injections.
Anyone with symptoms of meningitis is urged to seek medical care. The cost of seeking such care is typically awarded to a victim or a victim's survivors after a successful lawsuit.
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