Showers Developing, Akron and the Meningitis Scare, Anti-Gravity Treadmill

We'll stay dry before sunrise then the rain will push into Northeast Ohio. Expect a rainy late morning through the early afternoon. As this front moves through the wind will gust up to 40 mph along the lakeshore. Dry air will move in later this afternoon for a brief break through Friday morning. Then showers will develop as this upper low moves overhead bringing showers Friday afternoon into Friday night.

Local doctors contacting patients after a nationwide meningitis scare. Akron Children's Hospital is just one of dozens of facilities across the state that purchased injectable meds from the "New England Compounding Center" -- the company linked to the national fungal meningitis outbreak that's already killed 19. Several eye care and dermatology centers in our area are on that long list that includes 64 facilities. Doctors are now contacting patients just to be safe. Doctor William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University says, "We'll have to notify many more patients across the country that they may have been exposed to a fungal infection." Akron Children's Hospital officials tell us they bought the drug phenol from the company. In a statement they told 19 Action News. " No adverse effects or infections from phenol have been reported. A team of nurses has notified 26-patient families."  Akron Children's used the medicine to treat cerebral palsy patients.

Outside the airport isn't the only place you can find NASA technology. The Alter G is an anti-gravity treadmill that's helping patients recover like astronauts. Chris Kovatch likes to ride ATVs, but he hasn't gotten on one in months. "I came up short on a jump, landed on the wrong spot and ruptured my achilles," he said. And Terri Rosenwald is a Big Ten softball ump, but she was on the bench for while. "I came up out of my stance and pivoted and shredded what little bit of cartilage I had left," she said.  Both are recovering quicker and with less pain, thanks to the NASA developed Alter-G at Precision Orthopaedic Specialties in Chardon. It alters weight-baring, down to 20%. "It gives patients another option besides water treadmill or harness treadmill. It's not as restrictive as those," said physical therapist Ben Deszczykiewicz. Patients zip themselves into the portal, the machine calibrates their weight, fills with air, and...lift-off!

Julia Tullos, WOIO Assignment Manager