No new meningitis cases in Minnesota

Published 11:48 am Tuesday, October 9, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It took a spinal tap, but Melissa Stevens got the news she was hoping for on Monday: No sign of fungal meningitis from the recalled steroid she was given for persistent pain.

“The best news of my day,” Stevens said in an email to The Associated Press. “Tests were negative for meningitis!! They will do blood draws for 72 hours following, to be sure! But I am ok!”

Though Stevens, of Maple Grove, got good news, others are either waiting for test results or have yet to be tested.

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State health officials worked to notify 831 people that they might have been injected with the steroid at several Minneapolis-area pain clinics. Health Department spokesman Buddy Ferguson says the state had largely finished that work on Monday.

No new cases were confirmed Monday. Minnesota has three people with confirmed cases of the fungal meningitis that has broken out in nine states.

Stevens got a steroid injection in August at a pain clinic that received a product linked to the outbreak. The 39-year-old weight-loss coach and fitness instructor has suffered headaches and neck pain since she was in car accident about five years ago. She said she knew those could be symptoms of meningitis, and her pain had increased and spread to new areas lately.

“Hopefully unrelated, but worth checking out,” she said before undergoing her spinal tap.

The Minnesota health care providers known to have used the implicated steroid are Medical Advanced Pain Specialists in Edina, Fridley, Shakopee and Maple Grove, and the Minnesota Surgery Center in Edina and Maple Grove.