In the wake of the New England Compounding Center fungal meningitis outbreak, it's important to understand what fungal meningitis is, how it affects the body, what the warning signs are, and how it is treated. Over 700 people were affected by the tainted medication distributed by the Massachusetts-based compounding pharmacy, and early detection and treatment can be key to beating an infection. 

What Is Fungal Meningitis? 

Fungal meningitis is a very rare form of meningitis, which causes swelling and irritation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord (meninges). Fungal organisms get into the cerebral spinal fluid, as well as the brain's blood vessels. It is not contagious, and different types of fungus are transmitted in different ways. In the case of the New England Compounding Center victims, they had fungal meningitis injected directly into their body. 

Warning Signs that You May Have Fungal Meningitis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signs and symptoms of fungal meningitis include:

  • Fever 
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Altered mental status

Figuring out if you have fungal meningitis can be tricky because it can develop quickly in some people, or take weeks before it develops in other people. The warning signs may develop slowly over time, and you may just feel yourself gradually getting sicker. It's really important to listen to your body and visit your doctor immediately, even if you're not sure what's causing your discomfort. 

Treating Fungal Meningitis

Treatment can take a while, as it involves high doses of anti-fungal medications given over a long period. Even after undergoing treatment, some people who contracted fungal meningitis from New England Compounding Center are experiencing relapses. Treatment can be even longer for people who have immune system disorders, like HIV, because it inhibits further growth and depends on the immune system to do the rest. 

If you contracted fungal meningitis because of the negligence of New England Compounding Center, contact Girards Law for a free consultation at 888-897-2762