The death toll has risen to seven from a 'rapidly evolving outbreak' of rare fungal meningitis that has been linked to spinal steroid injections, sparking fear as new cases have been reported in nine U.S. states.
The potential scope of the meningitis outbreak, that has sickened 64 people, widened dramatically as health officials warned that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of patients who received steroid back injections in 23 states could be at risk.
Mrs Reed, 56, is one of thousands of patients recently treated in Tennessee hospitals for back pain with a steroid epidural - a fairly typical treatment. But since then a tainted batch of steroids released across the U.S. has been linked to dozens of cases of fungal meningitis.
In an alarming indication that the outbreak could get a lot bigger, Massachusetts health officials said the pharmacy involved, the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, has recalled three lots consisting of a total of 17,676 single-dose vials of the steroid, preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate.
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