An outbreak in the United States of fungal infections resulting from injections of contaminated corticosteroids has affected thousands of people in 19 states, with more than 400 patients being infected and 32 deaths reported to date. The magnitude of the outbreak is prompting calls for federal legislation to strengthen and clarify the FDA’s regulatory oversight, writes Stuart M. Levitz, MD, professor of medicine and microbiology & physiological systems, in a commentary published online in Emerging Microbes & Infections.
The agent responsible for most cases in the outbreak is thought to be exserohilum rostratum, which is treated with voriconazole. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has been providing regular updates on recommendations for diagnosis and treatment as more experience is obtained.
More cases of fungal infections associated with the contaminated corticosteroids will likely emerge in the coming months. Early diagnosis and treatment should lead to improved outcomes, according to Dr. Levitz.
Read the full commentary: Compounding drugs contaminated with fungi: a recipe for disaster
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Expert’s Corner: Stuart Levitz on fungal meningitis outbreak