Central Ohio Nurses Head To Michigan To Help With Meningitis Outbreak


UPDATED: Friday November 16, 2012 5:35 PM

Mount Carmel hospital is planning to send eight nurses to Michigan to help with the growing fungal meningitis outbreak.

The nurses will be helping at St. Joseph Mercy hospital, which has treated 128 cases of fungal meningitis.

According to hospital officials, the patients require complex care and treatment, which is straining staffing limits at St. Joseph which has been operating in disaster mode for six weeks.

Three of the nurses are already headed north after the Michigan State Board of Nursing expedited licenses for them. Two more nurses have had their licenses approved and will soon head to Michigan.

Kristin McClintoch is one of the nurses planning on spending six weeks treating victims of the outbreak in Michigan.

“I'm sure it's going to be tough. I like challenges,” said McClintoch.

Doctors said the potent anti-fungal medication used to treat the meningitis cases can cause side effects including nausea, vomiting even visual hallucinations.

Officials in Michigan said there have been at least nine deaths in the state linked to a national meningitis outbreak.

Fungal meningitis has been linked to contaminated steroids produced by a Massachusetts pharmacy and shipped to four Michigan clinics. Patients who became ill had received injections for neck or back pain.

The Centers For Disease Control has confirmed 461-cases in 19 states, including 17-cases in Ohio...resulting in 32-deaths.

The Franklin County Board of health has documented a handful of cases and is watching closely to make sure the epidemic doesn't spreadi to Central Ohio

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