Experts list many ways funguses can taint drugs

by Mike Stobbe

(AP)—Experts say there are many ways funguses could have gotten inside the Massachusetts pharmacy at the center of the deadly U.S. outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Dirty conditions at the pharmacy, faulty sterilizing equipment, tainted ingredients or careless lab technicians could have led to contamination of the steroid medication blamed for the outbreak.

are still investigating, and the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Massachusetts, has not commented on what might have gone wrong, so outside experts can only speculate.

The outbreak has killed at least 15 people and sickened more than 200 others in 15 states. Nearly all had received for back pain.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US pharmacy linked to outbreak issues wide recall

Oct 07, 2012

(AP)—The pharmacy that distributed a steroid linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis has issued a voluntary recall of all of its products, calling the move a precautionary measure.

US clinics rush to warn of tainted steroid; 5 dead

Oct 05, 2012

(AP)—Health providers scrambled to notify patients in nearly two dozen U.S. states that the steroid injections they received for back pain may have been contaminated with a deadly fungal meningitis. Five ...

Recommended for you

Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer

5 hours ago

Here are key dates in the current Ebola epidemic, the worst ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever which first surfaced in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

Jan 31, 2015

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Tom_Hennessy
1 / 5 (2) Oct 16, 2012
I read they use that very fungus ,Exserohilum , to 'speed up' production of a batch of drugs ? It could be they never cleared the fungus from the situation before selling the drug ?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.