Cases of Fungal Meningitis Expected to Rise

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The Director of MacDonald Funeral Home tells us 67-year-old Lilian Cary of Howell contracted this fungal meningitis, and died September 30. She got a steroid shot at a clinic in Brighton about a month before.

Cary is not the first victim, and she won't be the last according to the Michigan Department of Community Health: "We do expect that this case count will rise," said Spokesperson Angela Minicuci.

The contaminated shots were distributed in July through the end of September. After injection, this strain of Fungal Meningitis can stay dormant for up to one month; meaning those who were given the injection at the end of September, and possibly even the beginning of October, may not show symptoms until early November.

"We want to make sure anyone who received this specific epidural injection for back pain treatment contact their physician," continued Minicuci.

"It is treatable with the anti-fungal medications that we have," said Chief of Infectious Diseases Division at Michigan State University, Daniel Havlichek. He says, not only is it treatable, steroid shots are still safe to get, and an outbreak like this is rare and not likely to happen again.

"People can go ahead and continue to receive them without being worried too much."

Again, this meningitis is not contagious. Some of the symptoms you may have if you are infected could include a fever, severe headache, and symptoms consistent with a stroke, such as numbness.

The shots were shipped to four facilities in the Michigan: Michigan Neurosurgical Institute in Grand Blanc, Michigan Pain Specialists in Brighton, Neuromuscular & Rehabilitation in Traverse City and Southeast Michigan Surgical Hospital in Warren.

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