NEW INFORMATION: It's a scary scene that has played out in states across the country: A meningitis scare that has health officials here worried after it was discovered at Saint Mary's Surgi-Care at Crosspointe.
The Vanderburgh County Health Department is working with Saint Mary's to track down the source of the contamination. At this time, it appears the infection came from a batch of steroid injections given at that facility. The good news is, it is not contagious.
Doctor Ray Nicholson with the health department says, "If your neighbor had an injection and comes down with it you're not going to get it from the neighbor. It's not going to be an epidemic that will spread that way."
But the bad news is, 560 people may have been exposed locally. So far, hospital officials have contacted more than 500 of them and they hope to have all of them notified by the end of the night.
"If you are a patient that had an epidural injection, if I were you, I'd call the doctor now, says Nicholson.
What's worse, a person may be carrying the infection and not even know it.
"The incubation period is one to two weeks and so we may have people who are carrying it and haven't come down with it yet."
Those who come down with meningitis may start having a mild headache that gets worse as the infection spreads. Some also suffer from stiff neck, nausea and fever.
Left untreated, meningitis can travel to your spinal cord and brain causing serious injury or even death.
While this is rare, health officials urge everyone who may have been exposed to take it seriously and don't take chances.
UPDATE: The following batch numbers have been linked to the outbreak:
UPDATE: A spokesperson for St. Mary's Hospital tells Eyewitness News they have one confirmed case of Meningitis in Evansville. We do not know that person's identity or condition. Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for the very latest information.
More than 500 patients in Evansville may have been exposed to a strain of Meningitis.
Vice President of Compliance at St. Mary's, Michael Klueh, said in a news conference Thursday afternoon, that the patients were injected with medication that may have been contaminated with the Meningitis strain.
Klueh says all of the patients received the injections at St. Mary's Crosspoint, and not at the main hospital, and that the medication in question is a steroid, commonly given for back pain.
St. Mary's officials are now in the process of contacting the patients, and their doctors, so they can begin treatment. Klueh says of the 560 affected patients, 250 have been contacted, and ten percent of those are reportedly showing symptoms, which include stiff neck, headache, sore throat, tingling of fingers and toes. Klue says this is not an infectious or contagious form of Meningitis.
Across the country, 4 people have died from similar injections, which were traced back to a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts, which has issued a recall of the drug and shut down operations.
The last of the potentially contaminated injections in Evansville were given out on September 28th, according to Klueh.
We will have more on this developing story throughout the day on Eyewitness News.