★★☆Rare Fungal Meningitis Outbreak in United States

2012年10月25日 ★★☆, 2013年6月以前の記事, News Articles, Science & Health, VOA.

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*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


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  1. meningitis /ˌmenənˈjītis/ (n.) inflammation of the meninges caused by viral or bacterial infection and marked by intense headache and fever, sensitivity to light, and muscular rigidity, leading (in severe cases) to convulsions, delirium, and death
  2. parasite /ˈparəˌsīt/ (n.) an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by getting nutrients at the host’s expense
  3. recall /riˈkôl/ (vb.) request all the purchasers of a certain product to return it, as the result of the discovery of a fault (of a manufacturer)
  4. vial /ˈvī(ə)l/ (n.) a small container, typically cylindrical and made of glass, used especially for holding liquid medicines
  5. stiffness /stifnis/ (n.) painful to move or use; showing pain in movement or use


Rare Fungal Meningitis Outbreak in United States

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(1) Health officials in the United States are attempting to contact patients who recently received steroid injections for back pain. That is because the injections may have been carrying a fungus. Thousands of patients may be at risk of developing a rare form of fungal meningitis.

(2) Health officials reported Monday that fifteen people had died from fungal meningitis linked to steroid shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were more than two hundred confirmed cases of the disease in fifteen states. The majority of the cases were in three states: Tennessee, Michigan and Virginia.

(3) Meningitis infects membranes that protect the brain and the spinal cord. There are five kinds of meningitis. Fungal meningitis is the rarest form of the disease. Other forms can result from bacteria, a virus or a parasite.

(4) Last Thursday, officials reported that tests found evidence of the suspect fungus in more than fifty vials of the steroid. They said all those vials were manufactured by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts. The company has suspended operations and recalled all of its products for inspection.

(5) Compounding or specialty pharmacies often custom-mix medicines at levels, and in forms, that may not be available from other manufacturers. Under Massachusetts law, compounding pharmacies are only permitted to make small amounts of made-to-order prescription drugs.

(6) The patients who developed meningitis were being treated for back pain. The Centers for Disease Control says others who received the injections in their joints are not thought to be at risk.

(7) John Jernigan of the CDC is investigating the meningitis outbreak.

(8) “CDC is working with state and local health departments to contact patients who may have received injections at the facilities who received the recalled lots of this medication to inform (them) that they, that they may have been exposed, to find out if they’re having symptoms, and to instruct them to seek health care should they be ill.”

(9) Dr. Jernigan says there are many different signs of fungal meningitis.

(10) “Fever, new or worsening headache, sometimes neck stiffness. We’ve also seen in a few patients signs and symptoms of stroke, sudden onset of slurred speech, dizziness, difficulty walking, sudden weakness.”

(11) Health experts say they do not know how many people will actually become sick. They say it could take several months for a fungal infection to develop.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. Do you seek immediate prescription from a doctor when you get sick or would you rather do self-medication?
  2. How often do you go to the doctor for a medical check-up?
  3. Have you ever bought a product and then after some time, the products were recalled by the company? Would you still trust the company and buy their other products?


English Compositions

*Let’s make English compositions using the expressions from the article.

(1) The company has (verb) operations and recalled all of its (noun) for inspection.

EX) The company has suspended operations and recalled all of its products for inspection.

(2) The (noun) who developed (noun) were being (verb) for (noun).

EX) The patients who developed meningitis were being treated for back pain.