10/16/2012 08:02 pm ET Updated Dec 17, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak: 16 Now Dead

Oct 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroid injections has claimed another life with the death of a patient in Virginia, bringing the death toll to 16, the Virginia Department of Health said in a statement on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the department gave no details about the victim other than that the person was from southwest Virginia.

It was the second death in Virginia after an injection of steroids made by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier Tuesday that there had been 15 deaths. But its tally sometimes lags reporting from individual states.

Federal agents searched the offices of NECC in Framingham, Massachusetts, on Tuesday as part of investigations of the company. (Reporting By Greg McCune; Editing by Eric Beech)