To date, 297 people have contracted fungal meningitis and 23 have died in a national outbreak. The growing outbreak is traced to contaminated injectable steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. Roughly 14,000 people in the United States who received the same drug may be infected. It is unclear how many will become sick.
It turns out that this isn't the first time that this kind of outbreak has happened. In 2002, a similar meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroids from a compounding pharmacy in North Carolina infected five and killed one.
Dr. John Perfect treated patients sickened in the 2002 outbreak. He is professor of medicine and chief of the infectious diseases division at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Perfect published an article on the Annals of Internal Medicine website on the 2002 outbreak and its link to today's crisis.