Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Grows

The pharmacy at the center of the meningitis outbreak announces a voluntary recall.
3:00 | 10/08/12

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Transcript for Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Grows
And we do begin here with that deadly outbreak of meningitis. We learned late today it is quickly spreading all because of those steroid shots to the spine for patients who thought they were getting relief from their pain. Just in the last 24 hours, at least 27 more people have become sick. That brings the total number of cases to 91. At least seven people have now died from this, and tonight in a troubling new development, that massachusetts company that made that steroid shot is now recalling every single product it makes out of what it calls an abundance of caution. Abc's mark greenblatt leads us off. Reporter: The pharmacy at the center of the meningitis outbreak today announced a voluntary recall of every product it makes saying this action is being taken out of an abundance of caution due to the potential risk of contamination. I'm scared. Reporter: The number of meningitis patients jumping today from 64 to 91 confirmed cases in 9 states with 7 confirmed deaths. The outbreak began with a contaminated shipment of drugs from the new england compounding center. That drug injected into the spine for back pain was contaminated with a fungus that can go from the spinal fluid up to the brain causing a rare form of meningitis. The company is one of thousands of compound pharmacies that mix their own medicine but don't have to meet fda safety standards for manufacturing drugs. The idea, to let some tailor make drugs for patients who need a special blend like those with allergies, but it's not the first problem linked to these pharmacies. Nine patients died last year in alabama after receiving a feeding solution made by a compound pharmacy contaminated with bacteria, but the former chief counsel of the fda tells abc news, the industry has been hijacked by those now just making cheap copies of safer drugs. These individuals are no different than counterfeiters. Instead of manufacturing fake rolexes, they're manufacturing fake drugs. Reporter: As for the latest victims, janet russell's family in nashville is praying she'll pull through. I mean everybody is going through the same thing. It's just hard to see your mother. Reporter: Today's recall affects up to 1,000 products, everything from drugs to simple vitamins, and the company stressing tonight that it doesn't know right now and has no reason to think that any of those other drugs are contaminated. Our team of doctors are weighing in on this, as well, dr. Besser and dr. Ashton. How long before we see the true it could be as long as a month, david, before we realize the full problem. Now to the race for

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