Death toll climbs from meningitis outbreak

(CNN) - The death toll from an outbreak of fungal meningitis continues to climb. A dozen people are now dead and over 100 have become sick.

The outbreak is linked to contaminated steroid injections for pain and inflammation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says up to 13-thousand people may have received the medicine.

The New England compounding center -- or NECC -- is a -based pharmacy that made the contaminated injections. It voluntarily recalled three lots of the steroid and has surrendered its license to operate. Yesterday, Lillian Cary -- one of the victims in Michigan, was laid to rest.

"We haven't really had much time to really get online and get to see what necessarily could be to blame for this, so the anger has not yet become a factor," says Heather Andrus, Lillian's daughter.

"On behalf of the board, I want to express our deepest sympathy for the patients and the families who have been impacted by this tragedy," says James DeVita, President of the Massachusetts State Board of Registration in Pharmacy.

75 medical facilities in 23 states received the contaminated injections. The CDC says people with fungal meningitis are treated with intravenous anti-fungal medication. They have to be admitted to a hospital to get the treatment. And patients may need to be treated for months.


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