Steroid-related meningitis cases rise to at least 47 in the US
NEW YORK (AP) - As the tally from a deadly meningitis outbreak rose on Friday, health officials identified the medical clinics across the country that received steroid shots for back pain now linked to the illnesses.
The authorities took the step to help identify everyone who may have got sick - or may still get sick - in the outbreak.
"It is possible that if patients with infection are identified soon and put on appropriate antifungal therapy, lives may be saved," said Dr Benjamin Park of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Investigators have focused on a steroid medication made by a specialty pharmacy, New England Compounding Centre in Framingham, in Massachusetts. All the outbreak patients had received shots of the steroid for back pain, a common treatment, and inspectors found at least one sealed vial contaminated with fungus.