A recent meningitis outbreak has put thousands of patients in multiple states at medical risk, and 12 deaths to date.

Boston.com reports:

US health officials on Monday said that 13,000 patients in 23 states, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, have been injected with a potentially tainted steroid treatment made by a Framingham pharmacy and linked to a national outbreak of meningitis.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave its sweeping estimate of the reach of the crisis as it reported 14 new cases of the disease, and another death in Tennessee, which appears to be the hardest hit among the states where the rare and serious form of fungal meningitis has been confirmed.

“We know that 13,000 people received the injection,” said Jamila Jones, a public affairs specilialist for the CDC in Atlanta. “They received it at facilities across the country. They are at risk.”

So far, 105 cases and eight deaths have been confirmed nationally, the agency said.

The steroid, called methylprednisolone acetate, was made by New England Compounding Center in Framingham, which voluntarily ceased operations Oct. 3 amid a widening probe of the treatment and its use at dozens of health care facilities from New Hampshire to California.

A spokesman for New England Compounding Center on Monday said the company would have no further comment on the matter.

On Saturday, the company voluntarily recalled 1,200 products made at its facility on Waverly Street. It posted a 71-page list of the products recalled, which includes some common drugs and medications, such as the pain reliever acetaminophen, blood-pressure medication clonidine, rubbing alcohol, and mouthwash.

“This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution due to the potential risk of contamination, and in cooperation with an investigation being conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy,” the company wrote in a statement published on its website, neccrx.com.

The recall followed an announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 5 that it was investigating an outbreak of meningitis among patients who had received an injection of the steroid in their spine to treat back pain. The FDA said fungal contamination was detected in foreign matter taken from a sealed vial of the steroid collected from NECC. The agency also recommended health care facilities and consumers not use any product made by the Framingham company.

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