Doctor Explains Fungal Meningitis
Health officials are warning people who may have had an epidural steroid injection in the last few months that they may have been infected with a rare type of fungal meningitis.
The outbreak of aspergillis meningitis has killed five people and sickened over 30, including one in Indiana. Dr. Tom Slama with St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis says the infected patients could have avoided the infection by not getting the steroid injection, but they also had no reason to believe there would have been a problem. He says no one would get this type of an infection unless they were a compromised host, meaning someone with cancer, leukemia or HIV.
Dr. Slama says the most common types of meningitis are viral and are easily treated. He says most fungal infections aren't serious but this specific type can be very aggressive. Dr. Slama says the infection can be treated with anti-fungal agents but administering the treatment is difficult, toxic and poorly tolerated by the body.
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