Meningitis cases rise in state; local woman still hospitalized

Meningitis cases rise in state; local woman still hospitalized
From AP, staff reports
NASHVILLE — Tennessee health officials say the number of meningitis cases in the state have increased by three since Friday, while a Martin woman remains hospitalized.
The Health Department said on its website Sunday that there are now 53 cases, with an unchanged number of six deaths reported.
On Friday, health officials determined that a June shipment of epidural steroids was not part of a recalled batch that has been linked to the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.
The department had said on Friday that it became aware of the batch and officials were trying to determine whether it was part of the massive recall issued by the New England Compounding Center after the shots were linked to the outbreak, which has sickened more than 200 people in 14 states and led to 15 deaths.
Tennessee health officials said they don’t think any shipments of the injections arrived there until June 27.
Martin resident Ann Bequette remains hospitalized at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville after being tested positive for fungal meningitis earlier this month. She is the mother of DoRann Moore and Suzanne Killebrew, both of Martin.
“She’s stable,” Ms. Moore told The Press on Monday. “They’ve got her pain under control.”
Ms. Moore said she planned to travel to Nashville today to check on her mother, who still has some more medical procedures scheduled at the hospital there.
Earlier this month, Mrs. Bequette received a letter from the St. Thomas Outpatient Neurology Cen-ter after she was given a steroid pain injection in her back, according to her daughter. The letter explained the batch was contaminated and instructed her to watch for symptoms.
Mrs. Bequette, 69, reportedly experienced back pains and so she is being treated with an antifungal antibiotic and is expected to remain hospitalized for at least another week at St. Thomas Hospital, according to Ms. Moore.
Published in The WCP 10.16.12

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