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Chasing clues to detect outbreak

The New York Times, November 6, 2012
The e-mail Dr. Marion A. Kainer received on Sept. 18 suggested an investigation of a case of fungal meningitis and stroke in a man whose immune system was normal and whose only risk for the infection was a spinal injection of a steroid. She immediately began what became a national investigation that has now identified 409 cases, including 30 deaths, from a fungus so unusual that it is not in medical textbooks. Dr. Kainer's investigation led Tennessee to take extraordinary measures to track down 1,009 people at risk of the fungal infection. The state is credited as the driving force in discovering one of the most shocking outbreaks in the annals of American medicine.