On Thursday, U.S. health authorities said that more people than previously thought may have received the possibly tainted steroid injections, and roughly 14,000 people could be at risk of contracting meningitis.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the number of people at risk was revised after consulting with health authorities. The number is now 1,000 higher than previously thought.
So far, 14 patients have died from meningitis, and 170 have been infected, reported the CDC in its latest update. The CDC said that the number of infections ballooned by 33 since Wednesday, and added that Florida reported its second death and Indiana reported its first death from this unprecedented outbreak of meningitis. Menitngitis cases have been confirmed in 11 states, but 23 states received shipments.
The widening outbreak has refocused attention on the regulation of pharmaceutical compounding companies like the the one that produced the drug at the center of the meningitis outbreak, the New England Compounding Center Inc. (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, more than 50 vials of steroid treatments from NECC and other sites have tested positive for fungus that causes meningitis.