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CDC - First Fungal Meningitis Death In Indiana; State Cases Rise To 21

Last updated on Friday, October 12, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - One person in Indiana has died as a result of a fungal meningitis outbreak, confirmed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday.

The Indiana State Department of Health said the deceased person was not from Indiana but received a contaminated steroid injection at an Indiana healthcare facility.

A total of 170 patients in 11 states contracted the deadly fungal meningitis after being injected in their spine with a preservative-free steroid called methylprednisolone acetate that was contaminated by a fungus. The steroid is used to treat pain and inflammation. The CDC reported a total of 14 people have died so far.

Confirmed cases in Indiana have increased to 21. Health officials said the number of possible people injected with the contaminated medication has increased to 1,568.

The New England Compounding Center (NECC), the Massachusetts-based pharmacy that made the contaminated injections, voluntarily recalled three lots of the injected steroid last week.

Health officials say 76 medical facilities in 23 states received the contaminated steroid injections from NECC. A list of the 76 affected medical facilities is on the CDC's website.

The number of meningitis cases could reach up to 13,000 patients.

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