published Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Meningitis case confirmed in Georgia and more Chattanooga region news

  • photo
    This undated photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a branch of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The fungus can also cause skin infections if it enters a break in the skin. The meningitis outbreak is linked to the fungus being accidentally injected into people as a contaminant in steroid treatments. It's not clear how the fungus got into the medicine.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


Meningitis case confirmed

Georgia officials have confirmed the state's first case of fungal meningitis linked to steroid shots for back pain.

And, in Nashville, the pharmacist who co-founded a Massachusetts specialty pharmacy linked to the meningitis outbreak voluntarily has surrendered his license as Tennessee's pharmacy board discusses potential civil penalties against the company.

The Georgia Department of Public Health said Tuesday the patient is a 66-year-old Bibb County woman. She is considered stable, is not hospitalized and is being cared for by an infectious disease physician.

Officials say the woman received an injection at the Forsyth Street Ambulatory Surgery Center in Macon. The center received steroids produced by the Massachusetts pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center.

The outbreak has sickened more than 300 people in 17 states, including 23 who died. Each received a steroid shot, mostly for back pain. Nine patients in Tennessee have died.


Man trapped under tree dies

A 74-year-old Ringgold man died Monday after he was trapped under a fallen tree, authorities said.

Catoosa County sheriff's deputies found James Henry Blevins pinned under the tree. He died while rescue efforts were under way, authorities said.

Blevins' family told police he had been cutting trees around the property when the tree fell.


Airports getting state grants

Twenty-three airports across Tennessee are approved to receive state and federal aeronautics grants totaling $16.3 million, the Tennessee Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

Among the Southeast Tennessee airports getting grants are the Cleveland Municipal Airport, which is receiving $826,769 for T-hangar construction and $312,866 to extend a gas line; the Tullahoma Municipal Airport in Coffee County, which is receiving $548,337 for taxiway rehabilitation; and Warren County Memorial Airport in McMinnville, which is receiving $274,000 for apron rehabilitation.


Power outage coming Friday

Volunteer Energy Cooperative officials have announced a planned power outage affecting Birchwood and the areas of Eastview, Brittsville, Grasshopper Road and Georgetown on Friday from 1 to 3 p.m.

The outage is necessary to correct potential problems found in the cooperative's substation, officials said in a news release.

Vice President of Operations Clyde Jolley said the utility appreciates the patience of customers during the outage and apologizes for any inconvenience.

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