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Fungal meningitis in perspective

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Amarillo, Texas - As cases of fungal meningitis appear in other parts of the country, we have had none in our area.

And a local doctor tells us he's sure there won't be any in the future.

With new fungal meningitis cases being confirmed, it's understandable why some would worry.

But I was told today while these worries are expected, they are not necessary.

An Amarillo doctor says several physicians in our area, himself included, have their medications go through a strict process regulated by the state and FDA.

Dr. B.J. Daneshfar says, "each hospital, each clinic, or each physician get papers indicating that's done. And different entities must authorize or release that these tests are done. And every batch that we buy has that done."

Doctor Daneshfar says some states may have different rules, or they may cut steps out of the process.

This is why they have problems.

He says, "I personally have used this since 1998 and never had an infection or any problems."

To him, the compounding pharmacy in New England where the tainted drugs originated, is not correctly going through this process.

And this has resulted in their medication causing people to develop fungal meningitis, leaving our local patients concerned.

Mary Dillard says, "of course the fear of people that have had this in other parts of the country that have even had deaths over it, I became very alarmed and very concerned. I called up here and talked to them and they told me there's no fear. They've come from a different place than where the others had come from."

Doctor Daneshfar is one of many who believe the fungal meningitis outbreak will end soon.

Dr. Brian S. Murrell says, "there will probably be more cases that arise from previous injections that were done using their medication, but I suspect the worst is over in terms of numbers."

Physicians tell me this type of meningitis is not contagious and aside from the current injection cases, very rare.

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