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Fungal meningitis toll tops 300; still 23 dead

Infections related to an ongoing outbreak of fungal meningitis reached 308 on Tuesday, with 23 deaths.

That includes 304 cases of meningitis, stroke or other nervous system problems tied to epidural injections of contaminated steroids, plus four infections in patients who received pain shots in joints such as the hip, knee shoulder or elbow. 

The death toll has held steady for a few days, but officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that doesn't necessarily mean that the outbreak is waning. 

"Too early to say," said Curtis Allen, a CDC spokesman, in an email to NBC News. 

The outbreak has now affected patients in 17 states. Nearly 14,000 patients may have received contaminated steroid injections since May 21 produced by the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass. The potentially tainted drugs were sent to pain clinics and health care facilities in 23 states. 

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