14.04.2024

THIRD American dies from fungal brain infection linked to plastic surgery in Mexico

Another American has died after getting in Mexico, health officials have revealed. The individual died from a fungal brain infection which US doctors believe was contracted from un-sterilized equipment south of the border.

They are the third person to have died from fungal meningitis after traveling to Mexico for discounted plastic surgeries after two Texan women died last week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention () believes more than 200 Americans who traveled to clinics in Matamoros between January and May 13 could be at risk.

It comes after mounting warnings over medical tourism, which offers highly discounted prices but poses dangers because procedures are not as well regulated as in the US.

Three people have died Texans have died after receiving cosmetic surgery including liposuction in Mexico. Health officials say the women received treatment at clinics in Matamoros, Mexico, including River Side Surgical Center (left) and Clinica K-3 (right)

The above map shows the location of Matamoros, where the procedures took place. People are being urged not to go there for plastic surgeries

The above map shows the location of Matamoros, where the procedures took place. People are being urged not to go there for plastic surgeries

US health bosses called for the deadly fungal outbreak to be declared an international health emergency.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the condition of 185 more people who were given epidural anesthesia (injection into the spine to numb part of the body) during plastic surgeries carried out since January.

But hundreds more may have been affected due to Mexico’s booming medical tourism industry, which sees around 1.2 million Americans travel south for affordable care each year, and an even greater number of international patients.

The CDC and its equivalent in Mexico have asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the situation a health emergency, which could see the global agency deploy resources to track and isolate cases, quarantine contacts and screen passengers at the border.

Recruiters lured hundreds of patients from across the world and 24 US states to the River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3 in Mexico, both of which have now been closed, for procedures like liposuction, breast augmentation or Brazilian butt lifts.

Fourteen of the cases are suspected fungal meningitis — infections of the brain and spinal cord — and 11 are probable.

The patients reported symptoms including headaches, fever, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and sensitivity to light.

The infection causes swelling of the protective lining around the brain and spinal cord, known as the meninges.

Once symptoms kick in, meningitis can rapidly become life-threatening, warned the CDC.

Test results from Mexican authorities have set off worries that a deadly fungal outbreak connected to clinics elsewhere in Mexico which happened earlier in the year will be repeated. Almost half of all patients diagnosed with meningitis died in that outbreak.

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