Genesee County woman dies from meningitis linked to steroid shot - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee County woman dies from meningitis linked to steroid shots

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(10/09/12) - A Mid-Michigan woman has died as a Meningitis outbreak continues to grow.

According the Michigan Department of Community Health, the 56-year-old woman is from Genesee County. She becomes the third person in the state to die of fungal Meningitis related to tainted steroid shots. The shots were used to treat back pain.

State health officials would not confirm her identity or release where the woman received the tainted injection.

The other victims include a 78-year-old woman from Washtenaw County and 67-year-old Lilian Carey from Livingston County.

Carey's family is still trying to deal with the shock that something like this could happen.

"We don't have an expectation of a faulty regulatory or medical system that allows these types of mistakes to be made so perhaps the message, is ' wake up America,'" said George Cary, Lily's wife.

Four clinics in Michigan have received the contaminated steroid shots from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

One of those clinics is Michigan Neurosurgical Institute in Grand Blanc Township.

The clinic says so far, none of its patients have been affected by the outbreak. They released a statement on their website and say they're working with state and federal health officials and following their recommendations, in addition to contacting each patient personally. Patients are to contact their office if they develop any symptoms, which include fever, headache, and a stiff neck.

So far, 25 people in Michigan have become sick from the injections.

"We've been very active in contacting the emergency rooms, the infectious disease doctors," said Mark Valacak, director of the Genessee County Health Department.

They're trying to spread the word that this meningitis outbreak is serious.

"Anyone who received an injection from one of those sites should be very aware of the potential signs and symptoms of meningitis and talk with their doctor," Valacak said.

The CDC put out an advisory as well, saying that meningitis is not transmitted from person to person.

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