- - Monday, October 15, 2012

NEW YORK — Two more drugs from a specialty pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak are being investigated, U.S. health officials said as they urged doctors to contact patients who received any kind of injection from the company.

The New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., has been under scrutiny since last month, when a rare fungal form of meningitis was linked to its steroid shots used mostly to treat back pain.

The Food and Drug Administration’s step Monday followed two developments. One was a report of a meningitis illness in a patient who received another type of steroid made by the company.

The agency also learned of two heart transplant patients who suffered fungal infections after they were given a third product from the company during surgery.

The illnesses are under investigation, and it’s possible the heart patients were infected by another source, FDA officials said. They did not say whether fungal meningitis was involved.

The outbreak has sickened 214 people, including 15 who have died.


Child dead, 37 sickened from E. coli tied to fair

SHELBY — Health officials say one child has died and 37 others have been sickened in an E. coli outbreak tied to a North Carolina county fair.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that 22 children and 16 adults who attended the Cleveland County Fair have become sick.

Officials said a North Carolina child died last week and seven people have needed hospital treatment. Gaston County Health Director Chris Dobbins said three people are on dialysis and four have developed a type of kidney failure.

The nine-day fair ended Oct. 7. Health officials said symptoms of E. coli infection could appear up to 10 days after exposure and can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting.


Majority of donations will go to injured, grieving families

DENVER — A mediator overseeing a dispute over donations to families of the 12 people killed and to the 58 injured in the Colorado theater shootings said Monday that the majority of the $5 million in contributions will go to families of people who died and those who suffered permanent injuries.

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