washington [US]May 28 (ANI): U.S. and Mexican authorities have urged the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency of international concern over an outbreak of the deadly fungus, CBS News quoted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials as saying.
The decision by U.S. and Mexican authorities came after recruiters lured hundreds of patients from multiple countries and 24 U.S. states to undergo cosmetic surgery at two cosmetic surgery centers in Mexico, who may have been exposed to this fungus.
The CDC is currently monitoring the conditions of 195 people across the United States who underwent procedures, including epidurals, at the now-closed River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3 in Mexico. According to CBS News, there are 14 “probable” cases and 11 cases of “probable” fungal meningitis, which is an infection of the brain or spinal cord based on symptoms or test results.
Two patients have died since the CDC issued its update Wednesday, while six potential cases were ruled out, according to news reports. Meningitis can quickly become life-threatening once symptoms appear, the CDC warns, according to CBS News.
The latest test results from Mexican authorities have raised concerns about a resurgence of another deadly surgery-related outbreak that occurred elsewhere in Mexico earlier this year, CBS News reported.
During that outbreak, nearly half of patients diagnosed with meningitis died. A WHO committee must be convened before the agency’s director-general declares an international emergency.
WHO spokeswoman Margaret Ann Harris said in an email, “[We] CBS News reports that it is notified of hundreds of incidents every day and is evaluating each one. She did not say whether such notifications came from the United States, and said communications with member states are confidential.
Authorities have asked Americans who have had epidurals at any of these clinics since January to go to an emergency room or urgent care facility immediately, even if they currently don’t think they have symptoms, CBS News reported.
People from 24 states may have been infected during the procedure at one of the two clinics, according to a list Mexican authorities provided to the CDC. Most symptomatic patients so far have been women. A probable male case has been identified with symptoms of meningitis.
One of the two patients who died was also an organ donor, and five different recipients across the country may have been at risk earlier this year, according to news reports.
“All have been notified and are being evaluated,” said Dallas Smith of the CDC. Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Mycoses Study Group, Smith said they are working with transplant centers and other partners to properly manage the transplants. Patients who have these organs transplanted into their bodies. (Arnie)
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