2 more cases of meningitis confirmed in Florida

Cases linked to contaminated steroid injections, health officials say

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OCALA, Fla. - Two more cases associated with a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis have been confirmed in Marion County, according to the Florida Department of Health.

A 52-year-old woman and a 79-year-old woman were injected with one of the contaminated lots of methylprednisolone acetate used for epidural back injections at the Marion County Pain Management Center.

"We remain concerned about patients who received contaminated steroid injections in the back at six centers in Florida," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "Our work is ongoing to ensure that all patients potentially affected by these injections are contacted to seek medical attention. This fungal meningitis is not contagious and cannot be passed person-to-person."

The shots came from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts, and some 14,000 people may have received the injections, the CDC said.  Health officials have been able to contact more than 90 percent of the patients to warn them, officials said.

There are nine confirmed cases in Florida, including two fatalities.  Nationwide, the number of cases of fungal meningitis related to contaminated steroid injections stands at more than 180 with 14 deaths across 12 states.

The specialty pharmacy has recalled the steroid that was sent to clinics in 23 states, as well as everything else it makes.

A toll-free hotline at 866-523-7339 has been set up for those who may have additional questions.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

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