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ATLANTA (AP) -- Health officials say they have now confirmed more than 100 cases, including 18 in Virginia and two in North Carolina, of a rare fungal meningitis that has been linked to a steroid commonly used to ease back pain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted updated figures to its website Sunday. The death toll stood at 7, the same number as a day earlier. The outbreak is spread across nine states, the same states reported Saturday: Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.

The CDC figures show there are 105 cases in the U.S. altogether.

The steroid linked to the outbreak has been recalled and health officials have been scrambling to notify anyone who may have received an injection of it. The Massachusetts pharmacy that made it has said it is cooperating with investigators.

Meantime, health officials stress that fungal meningitis is not transmitted from person to person. These infections are associated with a potentially contaminated medication that is injected into the body.

NC, VA FACILITIES THAT RECEIVED THE STERIOD:
North Carolina:
High Point Surgery in High Point
North Carolina Orthopaedic Clinic in Durham
Surgery Center of Wilson in Wilson

Virginia:
Insight Imagine-Roanoke in Roanoke
New River Valley Surgery Center in Christiansburg

WHAT IS FUNGAL MENINGITIS?
Fungal meningitis occurs when the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord are infected with a fungus. It's rare and usually caused by the spread of a fungus through blood to the spinal cord.

SYMPTOMS OF FUNGAL MENINGITIS:
Symptoms of fungal meningitis are similar to symptoms of other forms of meningitis; however, they often appear more gradually and can be very mild at first. In addition to typical meningitis symptoms, like headache, fever, nausea, and stiffness of the neck, people with fungal meningitis may also experience confusion, dizziness, and discomfort from bright lights. Patients might just have one or two of these symptoms.

AP-WF-10-07-12 1858GMT

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