Fungal meningitis victims face long, uncertain recovery

OCALA, Fla. — Vilinda York lies in her Florida hospital bed, facing a dry-erase board that lists in green marker her name, her four doctors and a smiley face.

Also on the board is this: “Anticipated date of discharge: NOT YET DETERMINED.”

The 64-year-old contracted fungal meningitis after receiving three tainted steroid shots in her back. She’s one of 271 people nationwide who are victims of an outbreak that began when a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy shipped contaminated medication. Twenty-one people have died.

Like many trying to recover, York, who has been hospitalized since Sept. 27, faces a long and uncertain road. Many people have died days or even weeks after being hospitalized. Fungal meningitis — which is not contagious — is a tenacious disease that can be treated only with powerful drugs.

Tamara Lush reports on the outbreak here.

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JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

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About the Author: JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

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