Published: Oct 22, 2012 2:26 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - An Escambia county man is the latest Floridian to contract meningitis from a tainted steroid shot.
State health officials said Monday that the 55-year-old man is the 18th person in the state to contract fungal meningitis. The nationwide outbreak of this rare disease is linked to patients seeking pain relief received contaminated steroid injections.
The injections all came from contaminated lots of steroids made by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts. An investigation of how the medicine became tainted is underway.
Three people in Florida have died from fungal meningitis after receiving the shots. Officials say the incubation period of the disease is 7 to 81 days after receiving the shots.
Nationwide, 297 people have contracted meningitis in 16 states and 23 have died.

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