U.S. CDC to give update on deadly meningitis outbreak Sunday

Oct 7 (Reuters) - The latest tally of cases in a widening outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to steroid injections will be made available at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

As of Saturday, the death toll had risen to seven and 65 people in nine states were reported to have fallen ill after receiving steroid injections. The cases have been traced to three lots of the steroid prepared by a pharmaceutical compounding plant in Massachusetts, New England Compounding Center Inc.

The CDC, which advised of the pending update on its website, said vials of steroids linked to the outbreak were shipped to 76 facilities in 23 states and could have been used to inject thousands of patients.

So far, cases of people becoming ill after receiving the steroid injections have been reported in Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.

Deaths have been reported in Tennessee, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia.

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The particular form affecting people in the outbreak is not contagious.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Jackie Frank)