Authorities to make announcement in meningitis case

  • Outbreak killed 19 people in Michigan
  • Michigan attorney general to make announcement
  • 64 people in 20 states have died

By Ralph Ellis

The Michigan attorney general and a U.S. Attorney from Massachusetts will make an announcement Monday morning about the investigation into an embattled company linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 19 people in Michigan.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has been seeking criminal charges. He will make the announcement Monday morning in Detroit with U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz of Massachusetts.

The outbreak, thought to be caused by tainted steroid injections from New England Compounding Center, killed 64 people and infected 751 people in 20 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

The company filed for bankruptcy last December. A state pharmacy board also voted to permanently revoke the company's license to operate as well as the licenses of the company's three principal pharmacists.

Symptoms of fungal meningitis can include headache, fever, nausea, stiff neck, new weakness or numbness anywhere in the body, slurred speech, pain or swelling at the injection site and sensitivity to light, according to the CDC.

Compounding pharmacists customize medications to fit an individual's needs. Doctors prescribe these custom medications when the manufactured drug won't work -- for example, when a dosage is too large, or a patient has an allergy to a dye or ingredient in the original product.

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