Fungal meningitis risk decreases; Alexander asks for comments

Fungal meningitis risk decreases; Sen. Alexander asks for comments


NASHVILLE (WATE) - Thursday marked 42 days since the outbreak of fungal meningitis in Tennessee and around the country.

The outbreak was traced to contaminated steroid shots from a Massachusetts pharmacy.

The date is significant because, according to doctors, after 42 days of coming in contact with potentially contaminated steroids, the risk of developing symptoms greatly decreases.

The outbreak has been responsible for illnesses in 80 people. Thirteen patients died in Tennessee, the most of any state in the U.S.

The head of the pharmacy board in Massachusetts has been fired for allowing the outbreak to spread out of control.

The Massachusetts Commissioner of Health said James Coffey was notified in July about the potentially-tainted injections.

Others have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation into the outbreak.

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander is also asking Tennesseans to submit testimony on the outbreak.

Alexander is scheduled to take part in a hearing on the outbreak on Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C.

The hearing will examine state and federal oversight of the New England Compounding Center, the confirmed source of the contaminated injections.

The injection was distributed to clinics around the country, including Crossville and Oak Ridge.

No local cases have been confirmed.

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