First meningitis death confirmed in Florida

TALLAHASSEE — State health officials on Tuesday confirmed the first Florida death linked to a national fungal meningitis outbreak.

A 70-year old man died in July, before the discovery of the contaminated steroid medication produced by New England Compounding Center, the Florida Department of Health reported. There are now six total cases in Florida, all in Marion County, officials said. More than 100 cases have been reported nationally, with about a dozen deaths.

"We are saddened by this news and share our condolences with his family and friends," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "We will continue to work closely with our health partners to ensure that individuals who may have received the contaminated medicine are treated, and we have ensured that no medications from NECC, steroid or otherwise, are available in Florida."

Gov. Rick Scott said earlier Tuesday that authorities had contacted nearly 700 of the 1,185 patients linked to facilities that got tainted medicine in Marion, Miami-Dade, Orange and Escambia counties.

Health officials don't know how many of the steroid shots have been contaminated with meningitis-causing fungus tied to the outbreak. Investigators have said as many as 13,000 people may have received tainted shots, and about 17,700 single-dose vials sent to 23 states have been recalled.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features