Emails show North Carolina officials didn't notify the public about the possibility of a fungal meningitis outbreak until five days after they learned of the possibility.
The emails obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request show how the state handled the situation. The outbreak, caused by tainted injections, has killed 40 people nationwide and sickened more than 600.
The pharmacy that distributed the medication has been shut down since the outbreak was discovered in September.
Working with the CDC, the state health agency wrestled with what to tell the public, including whether to name the clinics suspected of administering the contaminated medication.
Health department spokeswoman Julie Henry says officials wanted to have all the facts before releasing information because it would have raised more questions than answers.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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