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Michigan man has meningitis; wife died

Published October 24, 2012 11:27 pm

Outbreak • George Cary, 65, said he began having severe headaches last week.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Detroit • A Michigan man whose wife died in a national outbreak of meningitis said Wednesday he's in a hospital being treated for the same illness, despite an initial round of tests that found he wasn't infected.

George Cary, 65, said he began having severe headaches while outside the state last Friday, a symptom of meningitis. He disclosed the news in statements provided exclusively to The Associated Press.

"I am feeling much better. ... I have only been on treatment for three days," said Cary, a Livingston County resident. "The doctors will monitor liver and kidney function and how well I respond to the side effects."

Cary declined to disclose the name of the hospital. He and his wife, Lilian, were treated for back and neck pain at a Brighton-area clinic that used contaminated steroids made by a Massachusetts pharmacy. The tainted drugs are blamed for a national outbreak of fungal meningitis that has killed at least 24 people, including six Michigan residents.

Lilian Cary, 67, died Sept. 30, more than a month after her tainted injection. After her death, George Cary had his spinal fluid checked for signs of meningitis. He received his last pain shot in mid-September and, on Oct. 16, told the AP that he was in the clear.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the greatest period of risk for development of fungal meningitis is 42 days after the last contaminated injection.

Cary believes the fungus simply may have grown slowly and was not detectable in his initial test for meningitis.

He also said his care "could be a long and difficult process."

Meningitis has afflicted at least 58 Michigan residents. Another 16 have had joint infections or abscesses, the Department of Community Health said.






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