Meningitis investigation widens - FOX 13 News

Meningitis investigation widens

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

There are some new developments in the meningitis outbreak that has been linked to back injections.

Officials are now investigating whether the danger goes beyond those back injections.

The FBI raided the New England Compounding Center yesterday and seized shipping records to find out where all of its medications have been sent.

While the main concern is still back injections, health officials are now looking at other medications distributed by the NECC.

Some of those medications were sent to medical facilities here in the Tampa Bay area to be used in eye and heart surgeries.

But FOX 13's Dr. Joette Giovinco says none of the back injections were ever distributed to the Bay area.

"So far, the vast majority of cases linked to these contaminated products were from back injections -- 245 total, two other cases of peripheral joint infections as well. Now officials are looking at two other cases: one was a heart surgery patient, who received medication from NECC and a woman who got a different kind of steroid injected in her back. So we don't know for sure whether the medications caused their infections," Giovinco said.

The state has published a list of facilities that received medications from the NECC. More than 50 of them are here in the Tampa Bay area. Doctor Jo wants to make it clear that this list does not mean medications used by any of these facilities were contaminated.

This list was published in the interest of keeping the public informed, and similar lists are being published in other states as well.

Health officials are asking these facilities to contact any patients who received medications from the NECC.

Meanwhile, the number of people who have died from the back injections is up to 19, including a third person from Florida who has died.

All three Florida patients who have died are from Marion County. The deaths are among 247 people across 15 states who have come down with meningitis.

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