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Rare US Meningitis Outbreak Grows, 5 Dead

Another fatality from a growing outbreak of a rare form of meningitis was reported Thursday, raising the death toll to five people, officials said.

In all, 35 people in six states have been sickened from a steroid that was distributed to 23 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

All received steroid injections used mostly for back pain that have been traced back to a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The pharmacy issued a recall last week and has shut down operations.

The type of meningitis involved is not contagious like the more common forms. This type is caused by a fungus often found in leaf mold. Health officials suspect it may have been in the steroid.

Investigators said they are still trying to confirm the source of the infection.

Cases have been reported in Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, Maryland, Florida and North Carolina.
 
 

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