Saturday, November 3, 2012

New twist in the outbreak due to contaminated pharmaceuticals

The New York Times is reporting today that another manifestation of the outbreak of fungal central nervous system infections has appeared. Some patients are developing epidural abscesses at the site of the steroid injection. Particularly worrisome is that some of these abscesses have developed while patients are on antifungal therapy.

Meanwhile, the epidemic continues to expand. The CDC is now reporting 395 cases of central nervous system infection, 9 cases of septic arthritis, and 29 deaths across 19 states. In addition, betamethasone and cardioplegia solution from the implicated compounding pharmacy have also grown multiple species of Bacillus in culture.

Lastly, on the weekend before election day, it's hard not to think about politics. And this outbreak highlights the tensions between business and regulatory oversight, a common theme in our political landscape today. This article published in Salon takes a look at that issue with regards to this outbreak.

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