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MAPS Reports Meningitis Outbreak Here in Minnesota (update)

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Friday, The Minneapolis Tribune reported about a meningitis outbreak that was taking place both in Minnesota and Nationally:

Fungal meningitis has been diagnosed in two women hospitalized in Minnesota after receiving injectable steroids from a pharmacy in Massachusetts, the Minnesota Department of Health reported on Saturday.

Nationwide, seven people with the illness have died, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta reported Saturday. The cases of the Minnesota women — who are both in their 40s and whose names and hometowns have not been released — are among the most recent of 60 diagnosed nationwide, the CDC said.

The problems have been linked to contaminated steroid pain injections. Others here at the Legal Examiner have pointed out that the same problems are being seen in their states:

Possible Meningitis Outbreak Lawsuit in Minnesota, Tracy Finken | October 12, 2012 1:57 PM

Virginia Man's Death Caused by Infected Steroids – Center Shared Building With Garbage Compactor, Greg Webb | October 13, 2012 11:11 AM

Meningitis Outbreak – More than Just Numbers. Jessica Hoerman | October 11, 2012 5:57 PM

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Alarms Country, Donald A. Migliori | October 11, 2012 10:02 AM

NECC loses Ohio license and 2004 meningitis lawsuit settlement comes to light, Miranda S. Miller | October 11, 2012 12:07 PM

NECC Meningitis Outbreak Ensnares More Companies Under Same Ownership, Greg Webb | October 10, 2012 9:56 PM

Meningitis Outbreak Draws Attention to Concerns with FDA Oversight, Andrew D'Arcy | October 10, 2012 2:51 PM

Meningitis Steroid Supplier Lacked License, Joe Crumley | October 10, 2012 11:04 AM

Injectable Steroids – Fungal Meningitis – The Signs, ,Cal Warriner | October 10, 2012 8:37 AM

Fungal Meningitis Death Toll Now at 11 with 119 Infected, Greg Webb | October 09, 2012 8:22 PM

Meningitis Update – Tennessee Hit the Hardest, Jessica Hoerman | October 09, 2012 5:27 PM

Death Toll Continues to Rise in Meningitis Outbreak from Contaminated Steroid Injections, Mike Ferrara | October 09, 2012 4:14 PM

What Epidural Steroid Injection Patients Need to Know about the NECC Fungal Meningitis Outbreak. Miranda S. Miller | October 09, 2012 1:42 PM

Two Michiganders Die From Meningitis, David Mittleman | October 09, 2012 9:14 AM

Massachusetts lab recalls epidural injection amid deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis, Michael A. Stratton | October 09, 2012 9:13 AM

Meningitis Outbreak Continues to Grow, Jacob Plattenberger | October 08, 2012 10:04 PM

Meningitis Outbreak UPDATE – 13,000 Possibly Infected Through Steroid Injections, Greg Webb | October 08, 2012 7:12 PM

Meningitis Cases Near 100 As NECC Issues Steroid Recall, Jackie Fedeli | October 08, 2012 4:32 PM

Fungal Meningitis Outbreak: Massachusetts Pharmacy Linked To Meningitis Outbreak Issues Recall, Brett Emison | October 08, 2012 10:25 AM

Meningitis Outbreak Spreads Into Michigan, David Mittleman | October 06, 2012 10:12 AM

Three Rare Meningitis Cases in Virginia Linked to Steroid Shots, Others may be Infected, Mark Favaloro | October 05, 2012 9:39 AM

Meningitis Outbreak Linked to Contaminated Steroid Pain Medication, David Mittleman | October 04, 2012 2:53 PM

As David Mittleman explained:

The type of meningitis that has affected 49 people across the country with five deaths, is not contagious. Instead, the meningitis has been linked to a type of mold commonly found on leaves that somehow contaminated steroid injection pain medications sent to clinics and hospitals. The state most affected so far was Tennessee, where one clinic received the largest shipment of the pain medication and administered it to hundreds of patients. The company responsible for the manufacture of the medication recently reported that it was working with the FDA to identify the exact origination of the problem and has also temporarily ceased operations.

There have already been seven deaths linked to this outbreak.

Update: There are three confirmed cases in Minnesota , but the state epidemiologist has notified "hundreds of Minnesotans" that they should be examined:

suspicious symptoms, such as headache, fever, chills, stiff neck, weakness and slurred speech. Because many have chronic illnesses, she said, "it's really difficult to be able to know" if the symptoms were caused by contaminated steroids. "So they're being referred for evaluation.".

Here in Minnesota, the Medical Advanced Pain Specialists and the Minnesota Surgery Center have been identified receiving injections that were produced by New England Compounding Center, a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts.