As many as 13,000 patients may have been exposed to fungal meningitis from tainted spinal steroid injections, authorities said Monday, as some lawmakers called for bringing certain specialized pharmacies under greater regulatory scrutiny.
The oversight of compounding pharmacies, which create customized versions of medicines, is gaining greater attention as the death and illness tolls in the outbreak continue to rise. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 11 people had died and 119 people in 10 states had been sickened by fungal meningitis, a rare but potentially deadly inflammation to the brain or central nervous system.
New Jersey is the 10th state to report at least one illness, the Associated Press reported. The other states involved in the outbreak are Tennessee, Michigan, Virginia, Indiana, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio.