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At least five people have died in an outbreak of a rare form of meningitis caused by a fungal infection from steroids often used to combat back pain, said government officials, who warned against using products from the drug manufacturer.

In a telephone news conference  Thursday, officials of the national  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said that, in addition to causing the five deaths, the treatment with methylprednisolone acetate has sickened 30 people in six states.

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