Tennessee death toll from tainted medicine rises to 12

The Tennessee Department of Health has announced a 12th death among patients sickened by tainted medicine linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis.

A sign requesting "No Soliciting" hangs on the door of New England Compounding in Framingham, Mass., Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Department of Health has announced a 12th death among patients sickened by tainted medicine linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Health officials also reported Friday the total number of Tennessee cases has increased by three to 78.

The people became ill after receiving steroid shots in their backs or a major joint. Besides meningitis, the illnesses associated with the medicine prepared by New England Compounding Center are posterior strokes and epidural abscesses.

Federal regulators have found NECC vials contaminated with fungus and bacteria. The laboratory's operations have been suspended and all its medicine recalled.


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