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More Cases of Rare Meningitis, FDA Finds Contamination

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Boston, MASix more people have been sickened by the rare outbreak of meningitis, which has claimed 25 lives. To date, the number of fungal meningitis cases total 337 in 18 states—as of Sunday, South Carolina was also affected by the outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported three new cases in Florida, two in Ohio and one in Indiana. Health Authorities reiterate that this type of meningitis is not contagious and cannot be transmitted person-to-person.

Seven cases of infections have also been reported after the contaminated steroid was injected into a joint such as a knee, hip, shoulder or elbow, according to the CDC. Typically, the steroid, which was supplied by New England Compounding Center of Massachusetts, is injected into the spinal fluid of patients to relieve pain.

An FDA form just released states that a quarter of the steroid vials in a bin at the Compounding Center contained "greenish black foreign matter”. The form also identifies rooms containing mold or bacterial overgrowths where the sterile products are produced.

The New England Compounding Center is now facing a number of investigations after health authorities determined it failed to make medications in sterile conditions at its facility near Boston.

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