published Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Meningitis cases in Tennessee increase by 3 since Friday

This undated photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a branch of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The fungus can also cause skin infections if it enters a break in the skin. The meningitis outbreak is linked to the fungus being accidentally injected into people as a contaminant in steroid treatments. It's not clear how the fungus got into the medicine.
This undated photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a branch of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The fungus can also cause skin infections if it enters a break in the skin. The meningitis outbreak is linked to the fungus being accidentally injected into people as a contaminant in steroid treatments. It's not clear how the fungus got into the medicine.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — Tennessee health officials say the number of meningitis cases in the state have increased by three since Friday.

The Health Department said on its website Sunday that there are now 53 cases, with an unchanged number of six deaths reported.

On Friday, health officials determined that a June shipment of epidural steroids was not part of a recalled batch that has been linked to the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.

The department had said on Friday that it became aware of the batch and officials were trying to determine whether it was part of the massive recall issued by the New England Compounding Center after the shots were linked to the outbreak, which has sickened more than 200 people in 14 states and led to 15 deaths.

Tennessee health officials said they don’t think any shipments of the injections arrived there until June 27.

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