Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

2nd Illness Hits Steroid Patients

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

2nd Illness Hits Steroid Patients

Article excerpt

Just when they thought they were in the clear, people recovering from meningitis in a national outbreak caused by a contaminated steroid drug have been struck by a second illness, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The new problem, called an epidural abscess, is an infection near the spine at the site where the drug -- contaminated by a fungus -- was injected to treat back or neck pain. The abscesses are a localized infection, different from meningitis, which affects the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. But in some cases, an untreated abscess can cause meningitis. The abscesses have formed even while patients were taking powerful antifungal medicines, putting them back in the hospital for more treatment, often with surgery.

The problem has just begun to emerge, so far mostly in Michigan, which has had more people sickened by the drug -- 112 out of 404 nationwide -- than any other state.

Watergate records unsealed

WASHINGTON -- Some documents sealed in the 1970s as part of the court case against seven men involved in the Watergate burglary must be released, a federal judge in Washington says.

U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth said in his order Friday that some materials being sought by a Texas history professor should be released. He gave the National Archives and Records Administration a month to review and release the materials.

Luke Nichter from Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen wrote the judge in 2009 to ask that potentially hundreds of pages of documents be unsealed.

Final trek for shuttle Atlantis

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Accompanied by a fleet of astronauts spanning NASA's entire existence, Atlantis made a slow, solemn journey to retirement Friday, the last space shuttle to orbit the world and the last to leave NASA's nest.

Atlantis reached its new home at the Kennedy Space Center's main tourist stop close to sundown. …

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