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Specialist says more cases of rare fungal meningitis likely to be detected around the country

10/03/2012 03:50 EDT | Updated 12/03/2012 05:12 EST
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University says he believes the country will see more cases of a rare fungal meningitis in the upcoming weeks.

Dr. William Schaffner chairs Vanderbilt's Department of Preventive Medicine. He has been following the investigation into the cause of the infection since it was first detected in a patient at the university's hospital about two weeks ago.

Thus far, 13 cases of the illness have been discovered in patients who received steroid injections for back pain at a Nashville clinic. Two of those patients have died. One other case has been detected at a North Carolina clinic in a patient who received the same type of injection.

Schaffner said he believes part of the reason for the Nashville cluster is early detection.

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