Department of Health

As three more cases of fungal meningitis were confirmed in Florida on Wednesday, bringing the case count to 22, the state's top health official said the number of patients who were placed at risk by contaminated steroid injections was considerable: 1,038.

But the good news, issued Wednesday by the CDC, is that they won't have to fret forever.

In  new guidelines for clinicians, the disease detectives said the greatest risk of contracting serious illness was  within six weeks of receiving a steroid injection from New England Compounding Center. The risk drops to about 1 percent after that, they said on the web site.

A third Floridian has died from contaminated steroid injections, and the number of Florida sites that received products from the now-infamous New England Compounding Center has tripled to 260, the state Department of Health said today.

Fifty-one of the recipients of NECC's injectable drugs are in West-Central Florida, according to the list of sites posted on the DOH web site.