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Meningitis Outbreak Toll: 119 Cases, 11 Deaths

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Hypodermic needle (Steven Depolo/flickr)

The number of people sickened by a deadly meningitis outbreak has now reached 119 cases, including 11 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the count on Tuesday.

New Jersey is the 10th state to report at least one illness.

State health officials say a 70-year-old Cumberland County man is hospitalized with what is believed to be the illness. He received an injection of a steroid from one of the lots recalled by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts and tied to a meningitis outbreak.

New Jersey health officials say 650 patients in the state received shots of the potentially contaminated steroid.

There are no reported meningitis cases in New York, but state health officials say 425 people in the state have received the steroid shots suspected in the meningitis outbreak.

Officials have tied the outbreak of rare fungal meningitis to steroid shots for back pain. The steroid was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. At least one contaminated vial was found at the company.

The company recalled the steroid that was sent to clinics in 23 states, and later recalled everything it makes.

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