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Florida Gets Two More Cases of Meningitis Linked To Contaminated Steroid Shots

The number of Floridians who’ve contracted the fungal meningitis associated with a contaminated steroid shot has risen to 12, including two deaths. Lynn Hatter reports, two new cases were reported from pain clinics in Marion and Escambia Counties.

The Florida Department of Health says it’s identified almost all of the more than 1000 people who received tainted steroids from a Massachusetts pharmacy company. State Surgeon General John Armstrong says a recall of the drugs has expanded to include other medications from the New England Compounding Center.

“This began with three contaminated lots of an injectable steroid used for epidural back injections, then progressed to twelve additional medications…then included all NECC medications as a voluntary recall," he told reporters Tuesday on a conference call.   

Seventy-eight Florida clinics have received products from the center. The company has voluntarily given up its pharmaceutical license in Tennessee. 214 cases of fungal meningitis cases have been reported nationwide with 15 deaths across 15 states.

State Health agencies have managed to notify almost all of the  1000 people who received the tainted steroid injections. Officials are trying to get in touch with the remaining 12 people.

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For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter @HatterLynn

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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