10/19/2012 02:30 EDT | Updated 12/19/2012 05:12 EST

CDC: Illnesses linked to tainted steroid shots reach 271; deaths rise to 21

An outbreak of fungal meningitis has been linked to steroid shots for back pain. The medication, made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts, has been recalled.

Latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Illnesses: 271, including three joint infections.

Deaths: 21

States: 16; Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.