Fungal Meningitis- What You Need to Know
As the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) work to combat the current fungal meningitis outbreak, it is important that American consumers be educated about the potentially fatal illness. TIME Magazine recently published an article which addresses five common questions about fungal meningitis.
1. How is fungal meningitis contracted?
- Fungal meningitis is not contagious.
- Fungal meningitis can be caused by a variety of fungi found in the environment or in a hospital setting.
- Meningitis develops when the fungus spreads through the blood to the spinal cord.
- Those with weakened immune systems (such as people with AIDS or cancer) are at higher risk for contracting fungal meningitis.
- Certain drugs, such as steroid drugs, drugs taken after organ transplants, and medications that treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions can make patients more susceptible to contracting fungal meningitis.
2. What are the symptoms of fungal meningitis?
- Stiff neck
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Weakness and numbness
- Swelling or redness at the site of an injection (if given the contaminated injection)
- Loss of consciousness or coma
3. How is fungal meningitis diagnosed?
- Diagnosis is often made with a lumbar puncture or spinal tap.
- The fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord is tested for fungus.
- If the fungus is present in the sample, a positive diagnosis is made.
4. How is fungal meningitis infection treated?
- The infection is treated with IV antifungal medications amphotericin B and voriconazole.
- These two drugs can also cause serious side effects like liver and kidney damage.
- Fungal meningitis drugs can take several weeks, even up to a month, to treat the infection.
5. How is fungal meningitis different from bacterial or viral meningitis?
- Bacterial and viral meningitis are more common than fungal meningitis.
- Bacterial and viral meningitis can be contagious; fungal meningitis is not contagious.
- Symptoms of fungal meningitis can come on slowly, whereas bacterial meningitis symptoms often come on suddenly.
Contact an Experienced Product Liability Attorney
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If you or someone you love contracted fungal meningitis after being injected with Methylprednisolone Acetate produced at New England Compounding Pharmacy, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. We represent clients/victims all over the country. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.