State aware of outbreak week before telling public

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Records obtained by The Associated Press show state health officials knew six clinics in Indiana had received a recalled back pain medication linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis a week before the public was notified.

An Indiana State Department of Health spokeswoman says the agency waited to allow more time to give physicians the information they needed.

A series of emails obtained Friday through a public records request by the AP indicate state officials were racing to keep up with an evolving picture as the number of cases increased rapidly.

Health agency spokeswoman Amy Reel says the state timed its announcement for Oct. 4 to be in sync with a CDC news conference about the outbreak.

The CDC meningitis website reports 44 cases and three deaths connected with Indiana.

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