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News : National Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Nov 29, 2012 - 7:11:02 AM



Betty Ann Bowser Takes a Look at Fungal Meningitis Outbreak on PBS NEWSHOUR Wednesday

By Staff Editor
Nov 14, 2012 - 2:38:25 PM



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(HealthNewsDigest.com) - PBS NEWSHOUR Health Correspondent Betty Anne Bowser looks at the recent spate of Fungal Meningitis cases linked to unsanitary conditions at a Massachusetts compounding Pharmacy on the evening broadcast of the NewsHour Wednesday, November 14 (check local listings).

More than 30 people have now died from the tainted steroid injections in nearly 20 states. Tennessee was among those states hardest hit, with more than a dozen deaths.
“She lit up a room when she walked in,” said Wayne Reed, of his wife Diane, who died in Nashville days after receiving an injection for neck pain. Infected with fungal meningitis, Diane developed a headache that wouldn’t go away, began slurring her words, and went into a coma. Wayne consented to have her taken off life support after an MRI showed permanent damage to her brain from the disease. “I'm not angry,” Wayne told Bowser during an interview for the piece. I’ve never been angry. I’m sad.”

Bowser’s piece tracks the history of the tainted steroid injections, and looks at the issue of whether compound pharmacies like the one that produced the injections are regulated enough.

“There seemed to be just a general level of slothliness in the institution,” said Dr. William Schaffner, of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “It was dirty.”

Bowser’s examination of the controversy over the tainted injections will air on the Wednesday evening (Nov. 14) broadcast of the NewsHour.
Along with the broadcast piece, the NewsHour website will feature a post on the “10 Things CDC Thinks You Should Know About Meningitis" and an interactive map showing the spread of Fungal Meningitis around the country.

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