CDC Raises Alarm About Meningitis Threat to Patients Visiting Mexican Surgical Clinics

The CDC says patients could be in danger even if they have no symptoms or just mild ones

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THURSDAY, June 8, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials are urgently trying to reach people who have recently had medical procedures at clinics in Matamoros, Mexico, because they may be at risk of potentially fatal fungal meningitis.

Those at risk had procedures done under epidural anesthesia between Jan. 1 and May 13 at River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

As of June 1, 14 people in the United States had been identified with these suspected infections, 11 with probable infections, and two with confirmed infections. Among them, three died. Another 185 people in the United States may have been exposed, according to an agency news release. Patients could be in danger even if they do not have symptoms or have mild symptoms, and they should seek immediate medical treatment, the CDC noted.

The CDC sounded the alarm after several U.S. laboratories and the Mexican national laboratory (InDRE) detected the fungus Fusarium solani species complex in the spinal fluid of some patients receiving follow-up care in Mexico or the United States after procedures at the clinic.

Public health officials also strongly encouraged health care providers to assess any patient, with or without symptoms, who had procedures at these clinics. This includes assessment with MRI and a lumbar puncture collecting cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The priority should be obtaining CSF for testing.

Health departments and others are encouraged to raise awareness about the outbreak, even if no one in their area has been identified as at risk.

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