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MI hospital blazes trail in fight against fungal meningitis

Reuters, January 2, 2013

After his first day working at St Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital's newly created Fungal Outbreak Clinic, Dr David Vandenberg struggled to describe to his boss the enormity of what lay ahead. He settled on a line from the movie Jaws. "We're going to need a bigger boat," Vandenberg told Dr Lakshmi Halasyamani, chief medical officer of the Michigan hospital, echoing the film's local police chief after he first eyes a 25-foot (7.5-metre) killer shark. The St Joseph Mercy clinic has been at the front line of the fight against one of the biggest ever U.S. outbreaks of fungal meningitis, a killer infection that has been traced to tainted steroid shots from a Massachusetts pharmacy.