Oct. 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM ET
Infections tied to the outbreak of fungal meningitis from contaminated steroid injections continued to climb Thursday, with 328 cases in 18 states. The death toll still stands at 24.
So far, 323 cases of fungal meningitis, stroke or other infections related to the central nervous system have been reported. In addition, five infections have been detected in patients who got shots in joints such as the knee, hip, shoulder or elbow. All of the deaths have been associated with the fungal meningitis cases, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new tally included two cases reported in Indiana, seven in Michigan and one in Minnesota. South Carolina reported its first case.
About 14,000 people may have received injections of tainted steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass. The firm has been shut down, its products recalled and it license permanently revoked.
On Wednesday, the CDC reported that the most serious infections and illnesses, including stroke and death, appear to occur within the first 42 days -- six weeks -- after receiving the injections. The agency said that the risk of developing serious complications is much lower after that.
Because the NECC drugs were recalled on Sept. 26, the CDC estimates that the highest risk of infections will end on about Nov. 6.
Patients who received the injections should be monitored for fever, dizziness, sensitivity to light and other signs of meningitis. They should be in close contact with their doctors if they have any signs of illness.