US, Mexico warn of fungal outbreak linked to cosmetic surgery

image source, Abraham Pineda

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Mexican authorities close one of two clinics linked to fungal outbreak

U.S. and Mexican authorities have asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a public health emergency over a fungal outbreak linked to cosmetic surgery in Mexico.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that two people who underwent surgery involving an epidural died of meningitis.

About 400 people are under surveillance in the United States and Mexico.

Two beauty clinics in Matamoros, Mexico have closed.

Authorities in both the United States and Mexico have urged people who have undergone surgery involving epidurals at the Riverside Surgical Center or Clinica K-3 since January to get tested, even if they are currently asymptomatic.

The CDC said it has already identified 25 people in the United States with “probable” or “probable” fungal meningitis.

Many U.S. citizens travel to Mexico for cosmetic surgeries such as liposuction, breast augmentation, and Brazilian hip lifts, all of which require injections of anesthetic into the area around the spine. is.

CDC’s Dallas Smith said the drugs used during the anesthesia in this outbreak could have been contaminated with the epidural itself or other drugs such as morphine used during surgery. Stated.

“There is currently a shortage of medicines in Mexico and there may be a black market where medicines may have been contaminated,” Smith said.

Last October, 39 people died in Durango, Mexico, after a batch of local anesthetic commonly used for caesarean sections and other surgeries was found to be infected with the same fungus.

The most common initial symptom of fungal meningitis is headache, followed by fever, vomiting, neck pain, and blurred vision.

Fungal meningitis is not contagious and can be treated with antifungal drugs, but it can be rapidly life-threatening once symptoms begin.

Americans often travel to Mexico for low-cost medical services.

WHO declares a public health emergency when a disease spreads between countries and may require a coordinated international response to control it.

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