HEALTH

Meningitis outbreak: 105 confirmed cases

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(AP, ABC7) - State public health officials are scheduled to provide an update on a rare and deadly meningitis outbreak in Virginia.

State Health Commissioner Karen Remley and the state epidemiologist, Dr. David Trump, will provide the latest on the fungal meningitis outbreak during a teleconference Tuesday. More than 600 back pain patients at outpatient clinics in Roanoke and Christiansburg have been alerted they may have received the tainted steroid treatment.

Health officials say the number of people sickened by a deadly meningitis outbreak has now reached 105 cases.

The number of deaths rose by one to eight, with another fatality in Tennessee. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the count on Monday.

The list of nine states with reported cases stayed the same. Tennessee, Michigan, Virginia, Indiana, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio previously reported cases.

Maryland health officials say they have identified two more people in the state who developed meningitis after receiving a steroid injection, bringing the total people who became ill in the state to five. One person has died.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced Monday that it had confirmed two more cases. Officials will also be reviewing death records to see if older cases may be linked.

The state has previously said that seven clinics received drugs tied to the meningitis outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 100 people across nine states have become ill and eight people have died.

Officials have tied the fungal meningitis outbreak to steroid shots for back pain. The steroid was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts.

The company has recalled the steroid which was sent to clinics in 23 states. The government last week urged doctors not to use any of the company's products.

Nashville resident Janet Russell is among those sickened. She started experiencing symptoms a week after getting her steroid injection.

Teresa Russell/Victim's daughter: “She has been sick for a very long time now, more than any person should have to go through,” says Teresa Russell, the victim’s daughter.

Of the eight deaths, two were in Virginia and Maryland.

Health officials are urging people who've gotten steroid injections recently to get treatment.

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