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4 more die in national meningitis outbreak, bringing total to 19

October 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Four deaths were reported Wednesday from a rare fungal form of meningitis, bringing the national total to 19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that two people in Tennessee, one in Virginia and one in Florida died from the disease.

The meningitis outbreak has sickened 247 people in 15 states, according to the CDC. The outbreak has been linked to steroid shots given for back pain. The injections were infected with a fungus, most a form of black mold.

A specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts made the steroid. The pharmacy is under investigation.

The FDA has urged doctors to contact patients who received any sort of injection from the company. As of last week, 12,000 of the roughly 14,000 people who received steroid shots had been contacted, according to health officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.