Tennessee Death Toll From Tainted Medicine Rises To 12 - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee Death Toll From Tainted Medicine Rises To 12

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Health has announced a 12th death among patients sickened by tainted medicine linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Health officials also reported Friday the total number of Tennessee cases has increased by three to 78.

The people became ill after receiving steroid shots in their backs or a major joint. Besides meningitis, the illnesses associated with the medicine prepared by New England Compounding Center are posterior strokes and epidural abscesses.

On Thursday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Reagan said his team has now developed a risk model that shows the worst risk will be over on November 8.

Currently, there are about 30 people still being treated for fungal meningitis at hospitals across the state.

Dr. Reagan said some of them are still in dire condition, and he said it is likely more deaths will take place in Tennessee before this is all over.

Meanwhile, federal investigators said they've now discovered bacterial contamination in two more drugs produced by the New England Compounding Center.

CDC and FDA investigators raided and examined drugs from NECC, which is the facility that produced the tainted steroid shots blamed for the fungal meningitis outbreak.

Now, test results reveal bacteria commonly found in soil in two different drugs: a steroid and a medicine used in heart surgery. So far, no infections have been reported from those medications.

The Centers for Disease Control reported on Thursday that the total outbreak in 19 states was 386 cases of fungal meningitis, stroke due to meningitis or infections of the central nervous system or peripheral joints. The most recent death in Tennessee brings the total of deaths to 29.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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