Fungal meningitis cases in NJ rise to 12

Laboratory technician Ruth Rutledge packages cerebrospinal fluid of the three confirmed meningitis cases in Minn., to send to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further testing, at the Minnesota Department of Health in St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. The number of people sickened by a deadly meningitis outbreak has now reached 119 cases, including 11 deaths, according to the CDC. The states involved in the outbreak are Tennessee, Michigan, Virginia, Indiana, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey and Ohio. Officials have tied the outbreak of rare fungal meningitis to steroid shots for back pain. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)

October 17, 2012 3:43:11 PM PDT
New Jersey health officials are reporting two more fungal meningitis cases tied to a potentially tainted medication. The cases announced Wednesday bring the total in the state to 12.

Health officials say the two new patients are a 66-year-old Cumberland County man and a 49-year-old Salem County woman who both received steroid injections in August.

The patients in the 10 other cases include residents from Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.

Overall, 10 of the 12 patients remained hospitalized Wednesday.

Health officials say more than 600 patients in New Jersey received the steroid injection at six facilities across the state from May 21 to Sept. 26.

Nationally nearly 250 people in 15 states have been sickened in the outbreak, and as of Wednesday, 19 had died.