The fungal meningitis outbreak that has been linked to contaminated steroid shots is now approaching 300 cases in the country, with the count in New Jersey rising to 16 as of October 22.

The medication in question, which was used for patients with back pain, has been made by a specialty pharmacy out of Massachusetts and has been recalled.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said there are now 23 known deaths in the U.S. during this outbreak.

South Jersey facilities that administered the steroid medication

The South Jersey Times reports that two Cumberland County residents who have been infected in this outbreak are suing the new England Compounding Center (who are responsible for distributing the tainted steroid).

The recent rise in N.J. in this outbreak to 16 patients infected include 3 new cases that have been reported in the last 48 hours.  The three individuals range in age between 52-82, two of them are male, and all three received the steroid injection in mid-Sept. in the Vineland area.  All 16 patients who have been infected are residents of South Jersey.

The death toll from this meningitis outbreak in the country is at 23.