UPDATE: 8 Dead From Meningitis Linked to Framingham Pharmacy

New England Compounding Center voluntarily recalled all 1,200 products it makes, over the weekend.

Update: Boston.com is reporting another person has died from steroid injections made at New England Compounding Center in Framingham. The victim died in Tennessee. This brings the death toll to eight.

The number of those infected, the article reports, has increased to 105.

Earlier: U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other government and state agencies across America are trying to reach every patient, who may have had a steroid injection produced by Framingham-based New England Compounding Center since July.

Steroids produced by the specialty pharmacy have been linked to a national meningitis outbreak.

New England Compounding Center made 17,676 possibly meningitis-infected steroids. They issued a voluntary recall of the product on Sept. 26.

The steroids were shipped to 23 states. Massachusetts is not one of the states where the steroids were distributed, but New Hampshire and Rhode Island are.

Government officials, reported Sunday, 91 individuals in nine states have been diagnosed with the fungal meningitis from the tainted epidural steroid injections.

Seven individuals have died from the disease.

The fungal form of meningitis is can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can be vague and mild initially, including fever, headache, nausea and stiffness of the neck, according to the CDC. People with fungal meningitis can also experience dizziness and confusion. Some of the patients have suffered strokes.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is calling for stronger government oversight of "compounding pharmacies." Sunday, reported Fox25, the Democrat said he would be writing to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to ask for stricter scrutiny of such pharmacies. He said the facilities appear to operate in a "regulatory black hole" and are only marginally overseen by the FDA.


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