Waiting, worrying amid deadly meningitis outbreak

By Kristin M. Hall

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 6 2012 12:50 p.m. MDT

CORRECTS TYPE OF MENINGITIS TO FUNGAL INSTEAD OF BACTERIAL - Patsy Bivins, 68 of Sturgis, Ky., sits on her porch with her dog Little Britches at her apartment in Sturgis, Ky., Friday, October 5, 2012. Bivins was injected with steroids at St. Mary Sugricare in Evansville, Ind., who notified her of possibly being infected with fungal Meningitis.

Stephen Lance Dennee, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Health officials say there may be hundreds or even thousands of people exposed to a rare form of fungal meningitis, leaving those who received steroid shots linked to the outbreak to anxiously wait.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday more than 60 people have been sickened in nine states, including seven who have died. The outbreak may have been caused by a steroid produced by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The steroid has been recalled, and health officials have been scrambling to notify anyone who may have been injected with it.

Patsy Bivins, a 68-year-old retired waitress who lives in Sturgis, Ky., says she tossed and turned all night after learning she could be at risk. She says she wishes there was a way to determine if she will become ill before actually developing symptoms.

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