MI now leads the nation in fungal meningitis cases - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

MI now leads the nation in fungal meningitis cases

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(10/24/12) - There were several developments related to the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak Wednesday afternoon.

First, a Michigan man whose wife died of the illness, says he's now being treated for similar symptoms.

George Cary of Livingston County says he's one of the new cases being reported here in Michigan. If his name sounds familiar, it's because George spoke out after his wife Lilian died back on Sept. 30.

Lilian had been treated for back and neck pain at a Brighton-area clinic.

George received the same steroid treatment. He was tested for meningitis in early October. Initial reports showed there was no evidence he had been infected. But the 65-year-old now reports he began having severe headaches on Friday. He remains hospitalized, but says he is feeling "much better" after three days of treatments.

Also new, the number of cases nationwide, is once again growing.

Seventeen states are now reporting infections. That's up one from Tuesday. Georgia was added to the list Wednesday. Health officials say 312 people have been infected, including 24 deaths.

Also developing, Michigan has now overtaken Tennessee as the state with the most meningitis cases.

Michigan is now reporting 73 people have been infected. That's up five from the day before. Of those 73 cases, five people have died after being treated with tainted steroid shots made by a pharmacy in Massachusetts.

The Public Information Officer with the Michigan Department of Community Health says they expect the number of cases to increase into November. Angela Minicuci says most fungal meningitis cases show up one to four weeks after the shot was given. But she adds people could show symptoms even later. "In rare cases, we've seen symptoms develop a little over a month after receiving an injection, in some cases we've even seen them in less than a week. So this particular fungus, we're still trying to get a good handle on it," Minicuci said.

In Michigan more than 1,900 people were treated with the tainted steroid shot after four clinics. Some received their shots in early October.

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