At Least Six Dead From Multinational Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

(Photo by Abraham PINEDA / AFP) (Photo by ABRAHAM PINEDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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At least six people have died after contracting fungal meningitis during an outbreak tied to Mexican cosmetic surgery clinics throughout 2023.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mexican Ministry of Health, and the other local health departments are currently responding to a multinational outbreak of fungal meningitis, the CDC reported Friday. Two clinics in Mexico have so far been identified as the source of the outbreak: River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3, in Matamoros, Mexico.

Anyone who has received cosmetic surgery or undergone a procedure that required epidural anesthesia in either of the two clinics may have been exposed to the deadly infection, per the CDC. Officials are urging potential patients to go to their local emergency room for testing.

Health officials shut down both clinics on May 13. (RELATED: Fungal Outbreak Kills One, Hundreds More Infected At US-Based Paper Mill)

Fungal meningitis spreads through the body to the brain and/or spinal cord, and can have more than a 40% fatality rate during larger outbreaks, the CDC noted. Symptoms can emerge anywhere from three days to four weeks after exposure.

One hundred sixty-nine people have shown no symptoms but are currently under investigation as health authorities work to determine whether they have been infected, the CDC noted. Nine confirmed cases have occurred, along with some 16 suspected cases, 10 probable cases and six deaths.