Cleaning Crew Blamed for Meningitis Outbreak

- January 04, 2013

The New England Compounding Center (NECC), which manufactured the injectable steroid responsible for a deadly meningitis outbreak last year, is blaming its cleaning service, according to official documents.

The fungus Exserohilum rostratum was found in about 14,000 doses of the steroid, which is commonly used to treat back and joint pain, sparking a meningitis outbreak that killed 37 people and sickened hundreds more in 23 states.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission quarterly filing by UniFirst Corp., the company responsible for providing cleaning services for the laboratory, indicated that the cleaning company had received a letter from NECC demanding that UniFirst indemnify NECC for the outbreak.

A spokesperson for UniFirst denied any responsibility for the outbreak, claiming that the NECC's allegations are without merit.

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