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Meningitis cases reach 16 in Maryland

Another fungal meningitis case has been reported in Maryland, bringing the total number of infections tied to tainted steroids in the state to 16.

The tally has doubled over the past week, and it has nearly doubled nationwide as well, according to the CDC. There have been 231 cases of meningitis across the country, caused when patients received spinal injections of the steroids to treat back pain.

The outbreak has caused no additional deaths in Maryland; one death was reported in the state before Oct. 6.

Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the spine and brain. Three batches of the steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, were found to contain two types of fungi. The steroids were produced and distributed by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., sent to 76 clinics in 23 states, including seven in Maryland.

Two infections caused when patients received injections in joints like shoulders, knees or hips have also been reported outside of Maryland, according to the CDC.

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