S tate and federal authorities are joining together to investigate the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 22 people in Michigan.
Michigan A ttorney General Bill Schuette said the coordinated efforts will maximize the resources that have been dedicated to the investigation.
"Today Carmen and I we are announcing a new phase, a unique new cooperative phase of sharing information, a unique new cooperative phase of shared state and federal parallel investigations to provide justice for victims ," said Schuette .
T he health emergency started more than a year ago when tainted steroids were distributed across the country , infecting 751 people in 20 different states, causing the deaths of 64 individuals .
"O f these 20 states , no state has been hit harder than Michigan with 22 deaths an 26 4 infected individuals ," said Carmen Ortiz, U.S. Attorney.
S chuette is seeking criminal charges due to the magnitude of the fallout within the state.
"Michigan is ground zero," said Schuette. "Michigan is ground zero in this health emergency. Just over a year ago we witnessed a tragic health emergency in Michigan and in America. It's called fungal meningitis. Now imagine this, you need help seeking relief from pain so you choose to go to the pain clinic. Tragically you leave the clinic in worse shape than when you came in."
T he deadly outbreak is believed to be tied to the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.
T he New England Compounding Center filed for bankruptcy last December.
A state pharmacy voted to revoke the company's license and the licenses of the company's three principal pharmacists.