Between the flu, West Nile and potentially toxic oysters, we already planned on hunkering down in our bomb shelter for the next ten or so years, but now we've got one more pathogen to worry about: The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed the first case of fungal meningitis in Texas.
Of course, it's not contagious. But still, we've always been freaked out by both fungi and meningitis, and to hear about them hooking up together in some sick dance of death is worrisome enough. The CDC believes this current outbreak, with a reported 205 cases in 14 states, is linked to "patients who have received a steroid injection of potentially contaminated product into the spinal area." (That's a relief -- we usually have our 'roids shot straight into our posterior, and we totally trust the guy who hangs out in our gym's men's room who administers it.)
The CDC hasn't disclosed the specific location of the first Texas case, but we swear it's not us. (We can't vouch for our co-workers -- or our Uncle Mort -- though.)
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The symptoms for FM include: new or worsening headache, fever, sensitivity to light, stiff neck, weakness or numbing in any part of the body, and slurred speech. Fifteen deaths have been reported.
According to the CDC, "fungal infections can be slow to develop. In this outbreak, symptoms typically have appeared 1 to 4 weeks following injection, but it's important to know that longer and shorter periods of time between injection and onset of symptoms have been reported."
We hope this Texas person, as well as everyone else, gets the treatment they need. In the meantime, if you need us, we'll be in our bunker. Just make sure to use the secret knock, or else there'll be trouble.