Meningitis Victim 'Incredibly Sick' Once Again - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Meningitis Victim 'Incredibly Sick' Once Again

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by Chris Conte

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville woman sickened in the meningitis outbreak who thought she was cured is back in the hospital and her family said her condition is even worse this time around.

"Her health is much worse this year, this time though than it was a year ago when she was first diagnosed with it. She has memory loss, low appetite, not eating anything and they're considering putting in a feeding tube, just a whole lot worse this time," said Joan Peay's son Trent Johnson.

Back in February, Joan Peay of Nashville was given a clean bill of health, but doctors believe the disease may have gone dormant in her system and the 73 year old has now relapsed.

Health officials said the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak which has killed dozens nationwide is once again making some patients sick again as they are suffering relapses of the disease.

"You make the best of it and right now the main thing is hoping she can get healthy and back to a normal life style," Trent added.

"So the infection kind of went into hibernation and now has come back and we need to treat once again," said Dr. William Schaffner with Vanderbilt University's Medical Center.

"So you had a lot of infection and the treatment kind of got rid of most of it, but some of it became dormant and was just sitting there and then over time became active again and caused the symptoms once again," Dr. Schaffner added.

Officials don't have any concrete numbers as to how many people have relapsed.

Dr. Schaffner said another concern is the disease could become resistant to the anti-fungal medications doctors are using to treat the illness.

"Every infection disease doctor is always on the alert that the germ can become resistant to the antibiotics and the other drugs we use."

Email: cconte@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5ChrisConte
Twitter: Twitter.com/ChrisConte

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