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Death toll rises in meningitis outbreak

The CDC announced today that an additional 1,000 people more than previously thought may have received steroid injection contaminated with fungal meningitis. The CDC raised their estimate from 13,000 possible victims to 14,000 today as officials try to determine how a disaster of this magnitude could have been allowed to happen. 33 new cases of infection have been reported in just the past 24 hours bringing the totals up to 170 illnesses and 14 death and officials fear that things will get worse before they get better. In response to the outbreak, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal has asked federal authorities to launch an investigation into the cause of the contamination and to determine whether the Massachusetts pharmacy that manufactured the steroid drugs may have misled regulators about the scale of their operation. Blumenthal spoke with the press this morning saying; “The company, its officers, employees and maybe others may have violated state and federal criminal laws in their potential misrepresentation to government agencies regarding their products. The fact that death and serious injuries resulted from the potential violations of law certainly is relevant, and the misstatements or fraud could constitute a violation of federal mail and wire fraud prohibitions.”

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