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Meningitis Scare Widens To Include More Illinois Clinics

The New England Compounding Center is shown here on October 5, 2012 in Framingham, Massachusetts. The pharmacy is currently being investigated for producing a contaminated steroid shot that included the meningitis fungus that has killed at least five people. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The New England Compounding Center is shown here on October 5, 2012 in Framingham, Massachusetts. The pharmacy is currently being investigated for producing a contaminated steroid shot that included the meningitis fungus that has killed at least five people. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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(CBS) – The deadly meningitis outbreak claimed another life, this time in Indiana.

Here in Chicago, another major medical center is now warning their patients that they may have been injected with tainted medications.

CBS 2’s Chris Martinez explains.

The reach of the recalled drugs is only getting wider. A revised FDA list shows more than 130 Illinois clinics and hospitals carried products from the New England Compounding Center linked to the deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital made that list.

“We’re erring on the side of caution,” Northwestern’s pharmacy director, Despina Kotis, says.

To be safe, the hospital is now notifying nearly 600 patients who may have been exposed to the company’s recalled products.

So far, the outbreak has killed 24 people and sickened more than 300 others, with at least one case in Illinois.

Health officials have linked the meningitis to an injectable steroid, most commonly used to ease back pain. But they’re now also investigating a number of NECC’s other medications.

Several Chicago hospitals and clinics, including Northwestern, say they never carried any of the known tainted drugs.

“These products that we’re sending the letters on have not been shown to be contaminated whatsoever,” Kotis said.

Those letters for Northwest and Lake Forest patients are being put in the mail today and tomorrow.