U.S. Warns Patients over Drugs from Pharmacy Linked to Meningitis Outbreak

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As the outbreak of a rare form of fungal meningitis widened Thursday and claimed more lives, health officials ratcheted up their warnings to patients over drugs sold by the specialty pharmacy to which the outbreak has been linked. Investigators have traced the rash of infections to steroids sold by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy and administered via epidural injection at spinal clinics. They are still unsure of the source of the infection, but they did find contamination at a sealed vial of the drug at the pharmacy itself. As many as six people nationwide, most of them in Tennessee, have died from the outbreak, and dozens more have been sickened. Two major Nashville hospitals were reporting two deaths each on Thursday, The Tennessean reported. The FDA, meanwhile, is urging health care providers and patients to avoid all drugs from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

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