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Tue November 5, 2013
FBI sets Nov. 30 deadline to provide information about fungal meningitis outbreak
The FBI wants victims of last year's fungal meningitis outbreak to report their case by Nov. 30. This call for information is part of an ongoing investigation into a contaminated set of steroid injections distributed by the New England Compounding Center that caused 264 infections in Michigan, resulting in 19 deaths. There were also three deaths of Michigan residents who were treated in Indiana.
The FBI is asking victims for their contact information and medical history, including the date of and reason for the injection.
The Compounding Center has filed for bankruptcy. Victims can also file a bankruptcy claim separate from the FBI's investigation. That deadline is Jan. 15.
Angela Minicuci with the Michigan Department of Community Health says there have been no new outbreaks of fungal meningitis. She says the MDCH is monitoring the current cases to make sure they don't develop into other infections, as many of the cases have.
"As far as the investigation goes, we need to look at the current cases that we have," she said. "If you have yet to report any symptoms, you need to do so as soon as possible so we can really work on a full investigation regarding those cases from there."
Minicuci says only 23 of the 264 reported cases are just meningitis patients.
"Because of the large scale of this outbreak, we are still at this point in the investigation doing the follow up with those individuals, checking to make sure that no new symptoms arise," she said. "If they do arise, we're working correct those to the local hospitals, we're working to clean up any potential other infections that may arise due to the injections."
Victims of the meningitis outbreak can report their case to the FBI on their website.
-Sarah Kerson, Michigan Radio Newsroom
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story contained a sentence making it appear that all 264 infections in Michigan resulted in fungal meningitis illnesses. That has not been the case.