How did deadly fungal meningitis outbreak happen?
Dr. Marc Siegel weighs in
- Duration 5:13
- Date Oct 5, 2012
Dr. Marc Siegel weighs in
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This transcript is automatically generated
Fox News alert right now this is important information you need to know major warnings today about a rare form of fungal meningitis.
It is killing people in various parts of the country at least five people dead.
More than thirty sickened across six states.
Health officials say that number could grow and doctor Marc Siegel is here now a member of his shots.
Medical -- team and professor of medicine and NYU's line -- own medical center we brought -- -- to talk about health care coming -- that debate the other night but but this news is hot.
What do we need to know about what's happening on this meningitis case.
But we -- need to know what -- injustices people need to understand that that's an infection of the lining of the brain.
And a fungus is involved.
And basically this is occurring and people also need to know this is -- contagious bill.
You're not gonna get this from touching your neighbor who has that you're not gonna get it if you were in an area where you see a case the only way you can get this is literally if you had an injection.
That is called the steroid if you had it for back pain or some other reason that's when you could actually have it in one of these states and it's occurring.
Because there's something called compounding pharmacies where they take a steroid that's made by a manufacturer the FDA supervising it but bill when it gets to the subject pharmacies where they're making -- for some reason.
Like a shot like back -- like a specific reason.
The FDA does not supervise the sterilization.
And contaminants like fungus get -- that's a big problem and the FDA has to step up supervision.
Just so you don't just a moment the FDA's urging doctors not to use any products.
From the New England com pounding senator.
And Framingham Massachusetts.
I think they're right because they're tracking it back to them this 7500 compound in pharmacies in the United States but it looks like that particular one is where this all started and unfortunately.
And we talked about this -- lettuce and spinach and all kinds of products like that where it starts in one area but that -- exported to several other states so if you.
-- doctors and pharmacies.
And hospitals have to be aware that if you've got a product that originated from that particular pharmacy like you better and argues that it does this mean -- shots are tainted animal or the material they're putting in the joie what bill -- it's the material they're putting in the shots but again it didn't start from the -- it came from -- -- it getting it ready.
Four for use but what would mean what human contact or something else like somebody probably introduced the contaminated here that's exactly the point -- they had a batch they introduced the contaminant of a fungus.
And it went out to the various pharmacies hospitals and clinics.
You better believe that they're supposed to be looking for that and almost all the time if they're supervised properly that there's another bubble car they got to look very closely at this compound pharmacy and figure out how this happened and it's deadly contaminant how does meningitis -- a person well you know usually meningitis doesn't kill a person especially if you catch it early but.
From you know compromised people the very young.
The very old people that are most susceptible who have chronic illnesses they can succumb to this especially if it -- found early.
So someone's behavior is changing if they're getting a favor -- they're getting a headache if they're getting weakness.
If their vision is changing you've got to be on the look out at that point you start the anti fungal medicine early you can -- All right there's great information there are -- I know you do a lot of homework on this health care debate from the other night.
Quick sample from governor Romney making his case as to why he would repeal Obama care.
I like the fact that in my state we have Republicans -- Democrats come together and work together.
What you did instead was to push through a plan without a single Republican vote.
Is that a fact when Massachusetts it's something quite extraordinary elected a Republican senator.
To stop obamacare you pushed it through anyway well this one back and forth -- the president had a lot of rebuttals to this.
Who won the debate in your view was a doctor.
-- -- -- that Romney for the very first time was very convincing on health -- I've been a critic of the Massachusetts plan because it extends insurance.
Because we have a doctor shortage -- there but you know he pointed out really clearly that it's very difficult.
Very different on the federal level because you have the independent payment advisory board you're -- have rationing he's talking about premiums going up.
2500 dollars you know per person to families -- can afford that and -- as from the point of position.
He's talking about how cuts are gonna -- to physicians.
Because the money is being taken from Medicare to pay for Obama Kerry made a very convincing argument 116 billion and the number absolutely you know the president -- what I call slip when he said over payment to physicians.
Office of the bill physicians watching that said.
How -- you gonna to determine if we're being overpaid.
If that if this 716.
Billion dollars is gonna come out of positions pockets impart.
How are you gonna justify that we already feel we have a problem with that and -- -- rationing board is gonna say what Medicare.
Services can work and what -- I have to tell you when I -- an elderly patient with a lot of medical problems the last thing I need.
Is a board from Washington saying this -- awards this Tribune doesn't work.
Governor Romney made a very very strong case for that for government oversight on the federal level not being the solution here and then it should be left to the states -- the very first time he made that point strong wind expected to come up again in debate number two ruptured thank you doctor I --