Four Americans Dead, Two Dozen Sick From Fungal Meningitis After Undergoing Cosmetic Procedures

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Four Americans have died from fungal meningitis infections linked to two cosmetic medical clinics in Mexico: River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3. The clinics, both located in Matamoros, were shut down on May 13. The US Centers for Disease Control has identified two dozen other suspected/probable infections. Any person who received epidural anesthesia for a procedure in the clinics between January 1 and May 13 is at risk for fungal meningitis. However, health officials have so far reached less than half of the people who could have been exposed before the fungal infection. Efforts to get in touch with patients has been hindered by the fact that contact information was transcribed incorrectly or the patient did not give the correct name or phone number.

Because it can take several weeks for symptoms to develop, anyone potentially exposed to fungus should see a doctor even if they are not experiencing symptoms. Once symptoms start, they can quickly become serious and life-threatening. “It’s critical, whether you’re symptomatic or not, if you’ve been exposed to an epidural anesthesia in one of these clinics (that) you get evaluated,” said Dr. Tom Chiller, head of the fungal diseases branch at the CDC. “We know for a fact that early treatment is what saves”. lives”. Fungal Meningitis infections produce swelling in the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord, which can lead to hospitalization and death.

Full Story: NBC News, USA Today