On Wednesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it was working with the Mexican Ministry of Health and U.S. state and local health authorities to combat a fungal meningitis epidemic.
The CDC issued a travel advisory last week urging Americans to postpone Matamoros surgery because of possible fungal meningitis in five Texans who underwent operations there. One person has died. According to Wednesday’s CDC report, a second individual with a possible case has passed away.
More than 200 patients who had surgical operations at clinics in a Mexico border city are in danger of contracting fungal meningitis, according to federal officials.
Two clinics, River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3, have been linked to the epidemic and shut down by authorities.
Following surgical operations at either facility between January and May 13, the Mexican Ministry of Health supplied the CDC with a list of 221 U.S. patients who were potentially exposed to meningitis. The CDC has announced that 224 persons in the United States have been identified as having possible exposure, including three cases that were not previously recognized.
The CDC is collaborating with more than two dozen state and local health authorities to reach out to anyone who may have been exposed and encourage them to get tested. Tests for meningitis include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).
The inflammation of the meninges, or the covering of the brain and spinal cord, is called meningitis and requires immediate medical attention. Fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, and sensitivity to light are only a few of the symptoms. Several potential triggers for meningitis include viruses, bacteria, trauma, and fungus.
It took anywhere from three days to six weeks for symptoms to appear in the Texan instances following surgery in Matamoros.
Medical tourism, where patients go outside of their own country to receive services like those offered in the United States, is more widespread, say industry professionals. Popular vacation spots include Mexico, Canada, India, and Thailand.