Nationwide the number of people sickened by a deadly meningitis outbreak has now reached one hundred nineteen including eleven deaths. New numbers from Maryland are out as well, there are eight confirmed cases in this state and one death reported. Kathleen Cairns about tells us why we could be seeing even more cases for weeks to come.
Interviewee: I was so sick.
Kathleen: From patient stories.
Interviewee: I literally felt like I was dying.
Kathleen: To new statistics.
Interviewee: Maryland has eight cases of the infection.
Kathleen: Seven clinics in Maryland use the tainted steroid before it was recall exposing hundreds of patients to the possibility of fungal meningitis. Complicating this case even more, health experts now say that the incubation period may be longer than four weeks so people who were exposed to this may not have any symptoms of meningitis until well after the time they were exposed.
Interviewee: We are worried about additional cases because of the incubation period and at this time we don't have an upper limit for how long people could be incubating. So most of the cases have been up to four weeks after but we do have concerns that it could be longer.
Kathleen: While the medical community studies it, the legal arena debates it.
Interviewee: Well how did it happen?
Kathleen: Product liability attorney Briggs Bedigian says the compound manufacturer may have never tested the product before it was shipped out.
Briggs: Unfortunately these compound in pharmacies are not drug companies they are not F.D.A. regulated.
Kathleen: He predicts there will be a flood of lawsuits.
Briggs: There will be causes … 1:30 brought against the company it will be done in my opinion on an individual basis and on a class basis because everybody's damages are going to be different everyone's going to be affected differently by this.
Kathleen: But says the legal fight may take years.
Briggs: This will not be resolved quickly.
Kathleen: In Baltimore County Kathleen Cairns, Fox forty five, news at ten.
Anchor: Patients who have been tested for meningitis have to wait several days to get the results from the laboratory.