Authorities in the United States and Mexico have asked the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency of international concern over a Deadly fungus outbreakssaid an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. The order comes after recruiters lured hundreds of patients from several countries and 24 US states to two facilities in Mexico for cosmetic procedures that may have exposed them to the fungus.
The CDC is currently monitoring 195 people across the United States who have had the surgeries Epidural anesthesia At the now closed River Side Surgical Center and at Clinica K-3 in Mexico.
14 “suspected” and 11 “probable” cases. Fungal meningitis Infections of the brain or spinal cord – based on symptoms or test results. Two of these patients died. Six possible cases have been ruled out since the CDC last updated Wednesday.
Most headaches are reported before their inflammation gets worse, progressing to symptoms such as fever, vomiting, neck pain, and blurred vision. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that meningitis can quickly become life-threatening once symptoms begin.
Recent test results from authorities in Mexico have raised fears of a repeat of another deadly outbreak linked to surgeries elsewhere in Mexico earlier this year. In that outbreak, nearly half of all patients diagnosed with meningitis died.
Global Health Organization A committee It must be held first before an international emergency is declared by the Director-General of the Agency. While countries must notify the World Health Organization of all potential emergencies, not all of them end up reaching that stage.
“[We] “Hundreds of events are notified every day and every event is evaluated,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Ann Harris said in an email.
It declined to confirm whether such a notification came from the United States, saying that communications with member states are confidential.
A spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to a request for comment.
authorities urged Americans who have had surgeries involving epidural anesthesia at any of these clinics since January to go immediately to an emergency room or urgent care facility, even if they don’t currently think they have symptoms.
people who 24 states As far north as Alaska they are likely to be exposed during surgeries at one of the two clinics, according to a list provided to the CDC by Mexican authorities. The vast majority – 178 – are Texans.
Most symptomatic patients have so far been female, although a possible male case with symptoms of meningitis has been identified.
One of the two patients who died was also an organ donor, with five different recipients across the country earlier this year who may be at risk.
Dallas Smith, of the Centers for Disease Control, said Webinar Friday hosted the Mycoses Study Group.
The consortium was working with the CDC Guidelines for physicians Treating patients who may have been infected with the procedures.
“Because patients in Mexico, the United States, Canada and Colombia were on the list for exposure, we wanted to ensure that these countries were aware, and provide such situational awareness, with a public health emergency of international concern,” said Smith.
“Worried about the high death rate”
Investigators now believe that the two facilities, located near Mexico’s border with Texas, have attracted patients from across the Americas for surgeries.
“There are these clients that act as recruiters in the United States for patients, connecting American patients to these clinics to receive certain care, certain procedures like cosmetic procedures,” Smith said.
From in-depth interviews with a handful of patients, officials believe many have sought procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation or a Brazilian butt lift.
Authorities have not yet confirmed the cause of the outbreak. Results of US patients so far are inconclusive for tracking down the fungus.
However, tests in Mexico have yielded positive results for a fungus known as Fusarium solani in samples of cerebrospinal fluid. This type of fungus was seen in a deadly outbreak that began late last year in the Mexican state of Durango that has also been linked to surgical operations.
“We’re not sure if these two outbreaks are related, but the fact that the same organism is most likely causing this fungal meningitis makes us concerned about the high death rate. That’s why it’s so important to get patients early, even if they are sick,” Smith said.
Medications used during anesthesia in the current outbreak may have been contaminated, Smith said, either in the epidural itself or in other drugs added concomitantly during surgeries such as morphine.
“There is currently a shortage in Mexico, and there may be the potential for a black market that could contaminate the drugs,” Smith said.
Another theory is that there were loopholes in infection control practices to prevent contamination during surgery, which is currently being blamed for the outbreak.
“The outbreak we’re seeing right now is very similar, has the potential to have a high fatality rate, and just devastates families and communities,” said Smith.