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Latest Findings on Fungal Meningitis

From the Show: Staying Well
Summary: The recent 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak posed a new learning and treatment opportunity for doctors, researchers and patients.
Air Date: 7/28/14
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Tom Kerkering, MD
Thomas J KerkeringThomas M. Kerkering, M.D. is Chief of Infectious Disease at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia and Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

He has been in practice for 35 years, specializing in infectious diseases, fungal infections, international health and tropical medicine.
Latest Findings on Fungal Meningitis
Fungal meningitis is a type of meningitis caused by a fungal infection in your body that spreads through your blood and into your spinal cord.

Any person is at risk for fungal meningitis; but if you have a weakened immune system due to surgeries, other diseases or medications, your chances of getting fungal meningitis drastically increase.

Fungal meningitis is not contagious and therefore cannot be passed from person to person. But it can have serious symptoms that are often misdiagnosed or looked over.

Why are fungal infections so challenging to diagnose and treat?

Fungal meningitis can be a challenge for physicians to diagnose since the symptoms are very similar to other common illnesses like the flu. Symptoms can include a fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.

However, if you suspect meningitis you can have samples of your blood or cerebro-spinal fluid tested.

Recently, there have been new findings on fungal meningitis that have changed the way doctors and researches look and treat the disease.

Dr. Thomas M. Kerkering involved his team's findings related to the highly publicized fungal meningitis outbreak of 2012, linked to tainted steroid injections prepared at the New England Compounding Center in Mass.

Chief of Infectious Disease at Carilion Clinic, Thomas M. Kerkering, MD shares what fungal meningitis is and the latest findings to help treat fungal meningitis.
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