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Rare Meningitis Cases Confirmed In Florida, Eight Other States

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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – More than 90 cases of a rare fungal meningitis have been reported in Florida and eight other states.

None of the confirmed cases have been in South Florida.

Health officials have confirmed the meningitis has been linked to a steroid commonly used to ease back pain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted to its website Sunday that the death tool stood at 7, the same number as a day earlier. The CDC figures show there are 91 cases in the U.S. altogether.

In addition to Florida, cases have been confirmed in Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.

The steroid linked to the outbreak has been recalled, and health officials have been scrambling to notify anyone who may have received an injection of it. The Massachusetts pharmacy that distributed a steroid linked to the outbreak has issued a voluntary recall of all of its products, calling the move a precautionary measure.

It is not yet known exactly how many people may have been affected, though it could affect hundreds or even thousands of people who received the steroid injections for back pain from July to September.

Meningitis is caused by the inflammation of meninges, which are protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Fungal meningitis is not contagious like its more common viral and bacterial counterparts.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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