As the death toll linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak rose to 21 Friday, the New England Journal of Medicine has released a report looking for as to why the outbreak has been so difficult to track. The disease that has now infected more than 271 people was first identified in a middle-aged Tennessee man and caused by a different mold than most other cases. Doctors said the patient developed minor symptoms four weeks after receiving back injections of a steroid manufactured by the now defunct New England Compounding Center. Roughly six weeks and two hospital visits later, the patient died, but the new report has identified his case as “the trigger” for discovering the link to other patients’ steroid injections.
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