U.S., Mexico ask WHO for emergency declaration over deadly fungal outbreak

Officials in the United States and Mexico have asked the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency Malignant fungal outbreak, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official said Friday. The request comes after recruiters lured hundreds of patients from multiple countries and 24 US states to two facilities in Mexico for cosmetic operations that could expose them to the fungus.

The CDC is currently monitoring the condition of 195 people across the United States who have had the surgery. Epidural anesthesia Riverside Surgical Center and Clinica K-3 in Mexico is now closed.

Fourteen are “suspected” and 11 are “probable” cases. Fungal meningitis – Infections of the brain or spinal cord – based on their symptoms or test results. Two of these patients have died. Six possible cases have been ruled out since the CDC’s last update on Wednesday.

Most reported headaches before their infection worsened, progressing to symptoms such as fever, vomiting, neck pain, and blurred vision. The CDC warns that meningitis can quickly become life-threatening after symptoms begin.

Recent test results from officials in Mexico have raised concerns of a repeat of another deadly outbreak linked to surgeries elsewhere in Mexico earlier this year. In this outbreak, about half of the patients diagnosed with meningitis died.

A WHO Committee A meeting must first be convened before the agency’s Director General declares an international emergency. While countries must notify WHO of all potential emergencies, not all reach this stage.

“[We] Hundreds of cases are reported every day and each one is evaluated,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Ann Harris said in an email.

He declined to confirm whether any such information had come from the United States, saying communications with member states were confidential.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to a request for comment.

Authorities Emphasized Americans who have had epidural anesthesia surgery at one of these clinics since January may go to an emergency room or urgent care facility immediately, even if they don’t currently think they have symptoms.

People from 24 states. According to a list provided to the CDC by Mexican officials, there were likely exposures during surgery at one of two clinics north of Alaska. The vast majority — 178 — are Texas residents.

Most patients with symptoms have so far been female, although a possible male case has also been identified with meningitis symptoms.

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.

“All have been notified, and are being evaluated, and we are working with transplant centers and other partners to properly manage patients who have had these organs transplanted. ” said Dallas Smith of the CDC. Webinar Organized by the Mycoses Study Group on Friday.

The consortium is working with the CDC. Guidance for Doctors Treating patients who may be affected by the procedure.

“Since patients from Mexico, the United States, Canada and Colombia were on the exposed list, we wanted to make sure these countries were aware, and to provide awareness of such a situation through a public health emergency of international concern. Do it,” Smith said.

“Concerned about high mortality”

Investigators now believe the two facilities, located near the Mexican border with Texas, drew patients from across the United States for the surgical procedures.

“These are agents who act as recruiters for patients in the U.S. They connect U.S. patients with these clinics so they can get specific care, and certain procedures like cosmetic procedures,” Smith said. ” said Smith.

From in-depth interviews with a handful of patients, officials believe many had sought procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation or a Brazilian butt lift.

Authorities have not yet confirmed the cause of the outbreak. Results so far from US patients have been inconclusive for detection of the fungus.

However, testing in Mexico has yielded positive results for the fungus Fusarium solani in spinal fluid samples. The same type of fungus was seen in a deadly outbreak that began late last year in the Mexican state of Durango that was also linked to surgery.

“We are not sure if these two outbreaks are related, but the fact that the same organism is likely causing this fungal meningitis makes us concerned about the high mortality rate. That’s why it’s so important to get patients in as quickly as possible, Smith said.

In the current outbreak, drugs used during anesthesia may have been contaminated, either in the epidural itself or in other drugs added during surgery, such as morphine, Smith said.

“Currently there is a shortage in Mexico, and there may be a black market that could contain contaminated drugs,” Smith said.

Another theory is that there was a lapse in infection control practices to prevent contamination during surgery, which is currently blamed for the second outbreak.

“The epidemic we’re facing now is very similar, and has the potential to have such a high mortality rate, and just destroy families and communities,” Smith said.

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