Health authorities said this weekend that more people than previously thought received possibly tainted steroid injections and that some 14,000 patients could be at risk of contracting meningitis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the number of people at risk, which is 1,000 higher than earlier estimated, was revised after consulting with health authorities.
Fourteen patients have died from meningitis and 170 people have been infected, the CDC said in its latest update October 11. The number of infections rose by 33 since October 10, the CDC added. Florida reported a second death from meningitis and Indiana reported its first death from the outbreak. Meningitis cases have been confirmed in 11 States. State and federal officials are now investigating the New England Compounding Center, which distributed thousands of vials of a contaminated steroid. Five new cases were reported in Tennessee, which remained the hardest-hit state with 49 cases, the CDC said. Michigan totaled 39 cases, Virginia reached 30, and Indiana‘s count grew to 21 cases, according to the CDC.
A second compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts agreed to temporarily shut down. Ameridose of Westborough is run by the same executives who run the company that produced the steroid linked to a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis. More than 130 people in 11 States have been sickened and 12 have died. Ameridose is not issuing recalls while regulators inspect its facility. The Massachusetts governor said October 10 that the New England Compounding Center responsible for the tainted steroid misled state officials and was operating outside of the bounds of its pharmacy license. The state director of the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality said there is no evidence other compounding pharmacies around the state are violating their licenses. The Board of Pharmacy has issued an order requiring that all compounding pharmacies in the commonwealth sign an affidavit attesting compliance with all pertinent laws and regulations, the director said.