MEXICO CITY (AP) – Twenty-three people, nine of whom live in the United States and 14 in Mexico, have been infected by an outbreak of meningitis that was detected this month in the border state of Matamoros, the Mexican government announced Thursday.
The Ministry of Health said in a statement about fourteen cases residing in Mexico, four suspected signs and presence; five conversions presented in the event of cerebrospinal fluid, and the other five confirmed the presence of the fungus fusarium solani, similar to that detected in other patients who were infected in the outbreak of meningitis, which happened last November in the northern state of Durango.
Of the nine cases identified in Texas, the Ministry of Health said eight had symptoms and were in stable condition and another died. Similarly, US authorities are looking for another death linked to meningitis.
The infections were associated with surgical procedures that were performed at the private centers Clínica K-3 and Hospital River Surgical Center in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, which were suspended from May 13 by the Federal Commission Against Sanitary Risks.
Mexican health authorities have identified 547 people who underwent a surgical or anesthetic procedure in the aforementioned health centers between January 1 and January 13, who are under medical supervision to assess whether they present symptoms of the disease.
Earlier, president Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in his morning conference that the meningitis outbreak in Matamoros was caused by “contaminated anesthesia medication used for plastic surgery.” Meningitis is an infectious disease that causes inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
A day after the announcement, the US authorities reported two deaths of possible meningitis and some 224 patients who may be at risk of the disease after undergoing surgeries between January and May 13 at the Riverside Surgical Center and K-3 Clinic.
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that it was warning U.S. residents to be mindful of their rising in Matamoros and noted that five people from Texas who had been exposed to activities there could be the cause of fungal meningitis. One of them died. And the other, who was the suspect, died.
The Secretary of Health of Tamaulipas, Joel Vicente Hernández Navarro, told the local media last week that three patients with meningitis were confirmed to be infected with the fusarium solani fungus, the same one that was detected in the cases that were registered in Durango last year.
Hernández Navarro showed that 11 patients were meditating, seven of whom were from the United States and four from Mexico.
The new outbreak of meningitis occurred six months after a similar event that occurred in Durango, where thirty people died and some 76 were infected after undergoing surgeries in which contaminated drugs such as anesthesia were used.
Mexican health authorities reported that the meningitis outbreak was caused by the microscopic fungus Fusarium solani. Most of them are infected women undergoing obstetric procedures. All patients received a procedure known as a spinal block.