Reporting Esme Murphy
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The State of Minnesota has scaled down the number of Minnesotans who received contaminated steroid injections that have been linked to a deadly nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis.
According to the Health department, 831 people have been exposed. So far, three Minnesota women have been diagnosed with the condition. At this point, eight people have died across the country, with cases reported in these nine states.
In Minnesota, 72-year-old Kay Hlusak received a steroid injection at the MAPS clinic in Maple Grove. She needed it to help with back pain. Four weeks later, she began suffering stroke-like symptoms and had to be hospitalized.
Late last week, she got a call from the Clinic asking if she had been sick. She told them yes.
“The symptoms are still that I cannot speak, as strange as that seems, but I am talking very slow,” said Hlusak.
She says the clinic offered no advice, but then called her the next day and told her she had gotten a contaminated dose.
So far, tests have not yet turned up meningitis, but her family wants answers.
“The fear in your head what might happen next, because it is a series of events and they continue,” said Hlusak.
Hlusak continues to suffer from stroke-like symptoms and her speech remains slurred.
On Monday, the initial results from a spinal tap showed no sign of meningitis.
“So far, the liquid is clear. However, there could be something showing up in a few days. I pray it does not,” said Hlusak.
Hlusak says she would like something to be done to prevent future problems.
“There must be some way of preventive measure to make sure see this doesn’t happen again,” she said.
Last month, the family was told Hlusak’s symptoms were the result of a urinary tract infection. Now, they aren’t so sure.
Hlusak’s daughter says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the family that others have gotten sick after getting the injections, but have also tested negative for meningitis so far.
The Maple Grove clinic was reached for comment, but hasn’t responded.