The effects of the fungal meningitis outbreak extend across the entire medical industry. One area the contaminated steroid injections have influenced is the treatment of meningitis. As hundreds of victims suffer through the deadly illness, the victims and their families look for treatments and cures.
The contaminated steroid epidemic that has infected at least 478 people with fungal meningitis has gotten worse than previously thought: New, non-meningitis infections tied to the tainted steroids are surfacing across the country.
More than 35 people have contracted a deadly form of meningitis after receiving contaminated steroid injections. Of those patients, five have died and that number is expected to grow.
"It is a very rare event, but it is not zero, and it's devastating," says James Rathmell, a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "We used to say this is so safe." As David Armstrong reports for Bloomberg Businessweek, steroid injections - epidurals near the spinal cord - in some cases cause paralysis in patients.