PRO/EDR> Meningitis – USA: (TX) ex Mexico, fungal susp./epidural anest./fatal, alert, RFI

PRO/EDR> Meningitis – USA: (TX) ex Mexico, fungal susp./epidural anest./fatal, alert, RFI


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

[1] Date: Wed 17 May 2023
Source: CNN [edited]

Five Texas residents became ill with suspected cases of fungal
meningitis after traveling to Matamoros, Mexico, for surgery,
according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. One person
died, and 4 others are hospitalized.

Medical tourism to Mexico is on the rise, but it can come with risks.
In a travel advisory, the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention urged patients to cancel certain procedures in Matamoros,
Mexico. Health officials are investigating whether the cases are
linked and whether there are more infections.

The CDC said in an advisory posted [Wed 17 May 2023] to its Health
Alert Network that it’s unclear what organism is behind the outbreak,
but a fungus is suspected because of biomarkers in at least one of the
patients’ cerebrospinal fluid. The procedures all involved an
epidural, an anesthetic injected into the area around the spinal
column. The patients ranged in age from their 30s to their 50s, and
symptoms began 3 days to 6 weeks after their procedures.

Patients should tell their doctor about the risk of fungal infection
if they had an epidural in Matamoros in 2023, DSHS and CDC said, and
should seek care if they develop meningitis symptoms such as fever,
headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion or sensitivity to
light. Fungal infections are not contagious and cannot spread from
person to person.

“It is very important that people who have recently had medical
procedures in Mexico monitor themselves for symptoms of meningitis,”
DSHS Commissioner Dr. Jennifer Shuford said. “Meningitis, especially
when caused by bacteria or fungus, can be a life-threatening illness
unless treated promptly.”

Medical tourism, including in Mexico, has become more common as people
seek lower-cost procedures and shorter waits for care, particularly
for dental care, surgery, cosmetic surgery, fertility treatments and
other procedures.

In its travel advisory, the CDC notes that all medical procedures
“carry some risk, and complications can occur regardless of where
treatment is received.” “If you travel to another country for a
procedure, do not delay seeking medical care if you suspect any
complication during travel or after returning home,” the agency says.

[Byline: Jamie Gumbrecht]

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