NC waited before disclosing meningitis outbreak


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Submitted: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 4:33pm
Updated: Tue, 01/22/2013 - 1:02am
By:

MITCH WEISS
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — Emails show North Carolina officials didn’t notify the public about the possibility of a fungal meningitis outbreak until five days after they learned of the possibility.

The emails obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request show how the state handled the situation. The outbreak, caused by tainted injections, has killed 40 people nationwide and sickened more than 600.

The pharmacy that distributed the medication has been shut down since the outbreak was discovered in September.

Working with the CDC, the state health agency wrestled with what to tell the public, including whether to name the clinics suspected of administering the contaminated medication.

Health department spokeswoman Julie Henry says officials wanted to have all the facts before releasing information because it would have raised more questions than answers.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

5 Comments

  • Vog46 says:

    While the republic is strong Tom this is what happens when state agencies have dotted line responsibilities to the Federal government.
    I’m not saying it did happen as I have no proof.
    But your knee jerk about cleaning house may not be justified if in fact CDC DID say keep it quiet.
    I may raise this issue with Hagan/Burr/McIntyre…….

    Of course what we’ll get is another insert into some bill that gives a Meningitis vaccine drug maker gobs of profits at our expense like they did with Amgen and the fiscal cliff deal.

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    and get Burr/Hagen to request an inquiry with corrective action.

    Meanwhile look at the 10th amendement with regards to state’s rights. Given the severity of the issue, 40 died I believe, the wrong decision was made.

  • Vog46 says:

    40 people killed nationwide – less than 1 per state
    600 ill – or about 12 per state.
    Our own Health dept wrestled with how to disseminate this info to the public.

    I think the state health department may have been right to hold off as this would have raised a vast number of questions and possibly panic.
    I will give the CDC credit for tracking such a small sample number for possible problems. Thats some good work….

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    What happens if the CDC told state officials to keep it quiet?

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    start cleaning house and show the people in Government you are not kidding about serving the people who elected you.

    The Responsible Heads need to roll.

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