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Third person dies in Florida from meningitis outbreak

4:12 PM, Oct 17, 2012   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida - Florida's fungal meningitis outbreak continues to worsen.

A third person has died after getting an injection containing tainted drugs and the number of confirmed cases in Florida has grown to 13.

A 78-year-old man from Marion County is the latest death in the meningitis outbreak. The newest case involves a 28-year-old woman treated at a pain clinic in Escambia County. Three cases have been confirmed in Escambia County, while the rest have been in Marion County.

The range of ages is 28 to 87.

Now the number of Florida clinics that received possibly contaminated drugs from the New England Compounding Center has increased to 260.

See Also: Lawsuit filed over meningitis outbreak

The Florida Department of Health reports it has contacted all 260 health facilities and directed them to get in touch will every patient who received a suspect injection.

Dr. Carina Blackmore of DOH says it's unclear how many patients might be affected.

"What we want to make sure is that health care professionals and doctors are aware that the drugs could be possibly contaminated with fungus and that they consider that if the patients show up with infections at the site of injection."

The list of potentially contaminated drugs now includes a dozen products. Dr. Blackmore says optical procedures and heart surgeries also may have used the tainted medications.

"They are concerned about drugs that are injected and that is injected anywhere, into muscle tissue, into eye tissue. And also they're concerned about products that are used in surgery. So for example, during heart surgery, fluids are used during surgery and that type of product is also of concern."

Symptoms include headache, fever, stiff neck and nausea. Dr. Blackmore says anyone who's experienced those symptoms following treatment with an injectable drug should see a doctor.

"If people have concerns about health problems potentially associated with these drugs they need to connect with their health care providers so they can get the proper assessment and treatment."

Click here to see the expanded list of Florida facilities that received products from NECC.

Nationwide, there are 233 cases with 15 deaths across 15 states.

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