3rd meningitis death confirmed in Marion County
Updated On: Oct 17 2012 05:46:59 PM EDT
The Florida Department of Health has confirmed a third death on Wednesday as a result of the fungal meningitis outbreak associated with the contaminated steroids.
According to a department release, a 78-year-old man previously identified in Marion County has died as a result of an injection from one of the contaminated lots of New England Compounding Center methylprednisolone acetate.
Health officials also said a 28-year-old woman receiving treatment from Pain Consultants of West Florida in Escambia County is the state’s 13th and newest case.
“One death is too many. We extend our condolences to his family and loved ones during this challenging time,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong in a release. “We remain focused on contacting all patients who may have received contaminated NECC steroid injections to ensure that they receive appropriate medical attention.”
The two previous victims were treated at two separate Marion County pain clinics. It's not clear where the third victim was treated.
Meanwhile, criminal investigators from the Department of Justice and the Food and Drug Administration were at a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company on Tuesday with a search warrant, a company spokesman said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday the number of meningitis cases increased from 205 to 214, spread across 15 states.
Also Wednesday, the Florida Health Department released a list of medical facilities in the state that received products from NECC beyond the injectable steroid that causes the meningitis.
Click here for a list of Florida facilities that have NECC products -- including more than a dozen in the greater Jacksonville area.
Shands Jacksonville Medical Center was one of the facilities on that list.
"We are aware of the expanded recall and are working very closely with the Department of Health on this very delicate situation," Shands spokesman Dan Leveton said in a statement. "We do know that we did not receive or use any injectable steroids associated with the original outbreak of fungal meningitis. All other drugs received from the compounding company were immediately removed from usage following the first notification of the outbreak on Oct. 4th."
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