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Woman Hospitalized After Meningitis Outbreak Speaks With WJZ

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Patricia Pugh

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More cases of meningitis from tainted steroids. Tuesday, the CDC reported another three deaths, bringing the death toll to 11. Here in Maryland, affected families are on edge.

Adam May has more.

Patricia Pugh from Harford County has five children. She’s one of eight Marylanders who says she contracted meningitis from a steroid injection intended to help back pain.

“She’s been sick since July. That’s a long time,” said her husband, Vincent.

He’s outraged at the lack of government oversight after up to 13,000 Americans have been put at risk.

“They have to be more careful. There’s a lot of people getting that shot and medicine. Be more careful with what they’re putting on the market,” he said.

The drug is made by what’s called a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts. It’s regulated at the state–not federal–level.

That’s a problem, according to Dr. David Maine at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

“There’s not as much rigor, if you will, in controlling quality,” Maine said.

Click here for more information about the meningitis outbreak.

The fungal meningitis has already killed almost a dozen people, including one in Maryland. At one Edgewood clinic alone, 200 patients were notified they may have received tainted injections.

That includes Pugh, who spoke with us from her hospital bed.

“It’s very scary,” she said.

Symptoms of fungal meningitis are flu-like. They can include a stiff neck and fatigue.

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