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.

Filed Under: Global Health

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