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CDC says death toll rises to 21 in U.S. meningitis outbreak

(Reuters) - The number of U.S. deaths from fungal meningitis linked to potentially contaminated steroid injections has risen to 21 with a fifth death reported in Michigan, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

States reported 14 new cases of fungal meningitis, raising the total to 268 as the outbreak showed no signs of abating, the CDC said. There are also three peripheral infections in the outbreak caused by injections into joints, such as a knee, hip or shoulder.

The outbreak stems from medications shipped by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts. The company faces multiple federal and state investigations and lawsuits over the tainted medications.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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