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Meningitis outbreak death toll grows to 5

The rare form of Meningitis has sickened 35 people and killed five people in six states so far.

Meningitis vaccine Enlarge
The FDA has approved the use of a new combination vaccinate against meningitis in children as young as six weeks. (Jeff J Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images)

Five people are now dead in a meningitis outbreak that has sicked nearly three dozen people in six states.

Dr. Robert Latham, chief of medicine at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, said Thursday a patient died there late Wednesday or early Thursday, bringing the number of deaths in Tennessee to three, The Associated Press reported.

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Deaths have also been reported in Virginia and Maryland, according to CNN.

Thirty-five people have been sickened. They include 25 people in Tennessee, one in North Carolina, two in Florida, three in Virginia, two in Maryland and two in Indiana, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

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Health officials have traced the outbreak of the rare fungal meningitis to a Massachusetts specialty pharmacy that distributes a steroid injection commonly used to treat back pain, NBC News reported.

The pharmacy shipped 2,000 vials of the possibly contaminated steroid to one center in Tennessee alone.

It says it has recalled all of the product and is cooperating with federal officials, according to the AP.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121004/meningitis-outbreak-death-toll-grows-5