MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Thirty people have now died and 419 have been sickened in the fungal meningitis outbreak linked to tainted steroid injections, U.S. health officials reported Monday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday had the following state-by-state breakdown of cases: Florida: 23 cases, including 3 deaths; Georgia, 1 case; Idaho, 1 case; Illinois, 2 cases; Indiana: 51 cases, including 3 deaths; Maryland: 23 cases, including 1 death; Michigan: 119 cases, including 7 deaths; Minnesota: 10 cases; New Hampshire: 12 cases; New Jersey: 24 cases; New York: 1 case; North Carolina: 3 cases, including 1 death; Ohio: 16 cases; Pennsylvania: 1 case; Rhode Island: 2 cases; South Carolina: 1 case; Tennessee: 78 cases, including 13 deaths; Texas: 2 cases; Virginia: 49 cases, including 2 deaths.
Ten of the 419 cases involve what the CDC calls "peripheral joint infection," meaning an infection in a knee, hip, shoulder or elbow. These joint infections aren't considered as dangerous as injections near the spine for back pain that have been linked to the potentially fatal meningitis infections.
Meningitis is inflammation of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The steroid injections are used to treat pain in the lower back as well as joints.
Massachusetts officials said last week that they had put emergency regulations in place that give the state greater control and scrutiny over specialty pharmacies such as the New England Compounding Center, believed to be the source of the tainted steroid injections linked to the outbreak, the Boston Globe reported.
Under the new rules, the state can now track the volume and distribution of drugs made by these pharmacies to see if they should be subject to FDA licensing regulations, the Globe reported. Pharmacies that fail to follow the stricter stat
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