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Cases of Fungal Meningitis Increasing


LANSING, MI (WTVB) -  For 9 consecutive days, the number of cases of fungal meningitis cases connected to tainted steroid injections has risen.  It now stands at 205 sick and 15 dead nationwide, with the first cases in New Hampshire surfacing.  In Michigan there are 41 sick and four dead.

 Marsha Martin is the daughter of the latest victim, 89-year-old Pauline Burma of Cassopolis. She received two tainted shots from a clinic in Elkhart, Indiana, and was at her daughter‘s home in Indiana when she died. Her mother recently declared she felt great and was going to live to be 100, and her death has left the family stunned.  

Why isn’t something being done medically to help the 14-thousand people who are believed to have received tainted steroid shots? Patients have been informed of their status and to look for symptoms, but no more.  Michigan Health Department spokesperson Angela Minicuci says they don’t have any drug that will address the fungal infection but she says they can treat the symptoms. Doctors say that the two treatments they have available also have serious side effects, and that’s why they only give it to symptomatic patients.

Attorney General Bill Schuette has suspended the pharmacy license of the Massachusetts-based company that is blamed for a multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis, saying they may have been in violation of Michigan law.  The New England Compounding Center has already recalled all their products and ceased production. Schuette says the firm was only licensed to provide drugs to individual patients, and never licensed to ship drugs by the case to clinics and hospitals in Michigan. Other states could take similar steps this week to strip the firm of it licenses.