Four More Meningitis Deaths Reported - NBC4 Washington

Four More Meningitis Deaths Reported



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    North Texas doctors are monitoring some patients closely, after the federal government expanded the investigation in shots linked to a meningitis outbreak.

    Health officials say four more people have died in the national meningitis outbreak, bringing the number of deaths to 19.

    The deaths are among the 247 people in 15 states sickened in the outbreak, which has been tied to steroid shots for back pain. Most have a rare fungal form of meningitis. Two have joint infections.

    A specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts made the steroid, and federal officials are investigating the business.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the count on Wednesday. There were two more deaths reported in Tennessee and one each in Florida and Virginia.

    The CDC also said test results so far show infections with three kinds of fungus. Most were a form of black mold.

    Meanwhile, an 80-year-old Virginia man who says he contracted fungal meningitis after he received an injection of a tainted steroid is suing the Massachusetts pharmacy that made it for $5 million.

    Basil Proffitt's attorney filed the action Wednesday in Roanoke, Va. Circuit Court against New England Compounding Center. Attorney Will Moody claims the Framingham, Mass., pharmacy was negligent for failing to ensure the medicine was safe.

    Moody says Proffitt received the injection Sept. 12 to ease his chronic back pain and became "deathly ill.'' Proffitt was hospitalized but has been discharged and is continuing treatment.

    The compounding pharmacy has not commented on its production process.