Several hundred of the more than 800 Minnesota patients exposed to potentially contaminated steroid injections are reporting symptoms that could be signs of meningitis infection.
Most patients who have symptoms describe them as mild, said state epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield. That could indicate other possible conditions, unrelated to meningitis infection, she said, but all symptoms should be investigated.
The Health Department is advising patients with symptoms to seek out a medical evaluation.
"The recommendation is to have them evaluated, have someone examine them, talk to them and if there is a concern about meningitis, to have a lumbar puncture," Lynfield said.
Minnesota currently has three confirmed cases of meningitis infection related to the national outbreak.
There are about 30 patients who have not been reached by phone yet, Lynfield said.
The steroids were supplied by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. Two Twin Cities-based pain management facilities received the potentially contaminated product: Medical Advanced Pain Specialists and the Minnesota Surgery Center. The facilities have locations in Edina, Fridley, Shakopee and Maple Grove. The pharmacy has since recalled all of its product.