WASHINGTON (AP) - The black mold creeping into the spines of hundreds of people who got tainted shots for back pain marks uncharted medical territory.
Never before has this particular fungus been found to cause meningitis. It's incredibly hard to diagnose, and to kill — requiring at least three months of a treatment that can cause hallucinations. There's no good way to predict survival, or when it's safe to stop treating, or exactly how to monitor those who fear the fungus may be festering silently in their bodies.
"I don't think there is a precedent for this kind of thing," said Dr. Arjun Srinivasan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials and doctors have tracked down most of the 14,000 people potentially at risk for fungal meningitis, blamed for the deaths of 24 people and sickening more than 300.
"This is definitely new territory for us," he said.
The fungus' brown-black color signals an armor that — along with being injected near the spine —helped this mold sneak past the immune defenses of otherwise healthy people, said Dr. Arturo Casadevall, a fungal disease specialist at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
"What we're dealing with here is fundamentally different" from a typical fungal infection, he said. "This is a bug that most of us don't know much about."
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:36 AM EST2013-12-11 14:36:12 GMT
SPOKANE, Wash. - For anyone whose parents have moved into their home or for those looking to possibly rent out part of their home, houses with in-law type set ups are ideal. >>
SPOKANE, Wash. - For anyone whose parents have moved into their home or for those looking to possibly rent out part of their home, houses with in-law type set ups are ideal. It's a great way to give yourself and the person living in your home separate space and it helps to keep the sanity. >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:47 PM EST2013-12-12 17:47:16 GMT
SPOKANE, Wash. - Emergency crews on the south hill were called to a car crash late Wednesday night. >>
SPOKANE, Wash. - Emergency crews on the south hill were called to a car crash late Wednesday night. Police say around 11:00pm a man was driving his SUV westbound on 37th when he went through the stop sign at Perry, hit a brick landscaping wall, and flipped his SUV. When firefighters arrived they had to cut the roof off of the SUV to get the man out. >>