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3 Minn. women linked to meningitis outbreak

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota health officials now confirm three cases of a rare fungal meningitis linked to a steroid commonly used to ease back pain.

State Health Department spokesman Buddy Ferguson says like the previous two cases, the latest case in Minnesota is a woman in her 40s. In all three cases, the women received injectable steroids from a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts.

Ferguson says the third woman is hospitalized and is being treated with antibiotic and antifungal drugs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are now more than 90 confirmed cases in nine states. The death toll Sunday stood at 7.

Minnesota officials say they believe about 950 Minnesota patients were treated with the implicated steroid products. They hope to finish contacting all of the patients by Sunday evening.

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