Laredo Health Department recommends avoiding out-of-country surgical procedures

Published: May. 29, 2023 at 5:16 PM CDT|Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 5:25 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - The Texas Department of Health and Human Services issued a public health alert for travelers who have a pending surgery in the City of Matamoros, Mexico due to a recent uptick in cases of fungal meningitis.

The state health agency is currently investigating cases that are linked to surgeries involving epidural anesthesia done in Matamoros.

So far, two Texans who were part of the outbreak have died as a result of the illness.

The state is also tracking other cases.

As of now they have eight probable cases and nine suspected cases.

Some of the symptoms associated with fungal meningitis include fever, stiff neck, nausea, and disorientation.

Dali Quinones, the City of Laredo Health Department Epidemiologist said, although there’s no current cases in Laredo, he recommends avoiding any surgical procedures in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas for the time being.

“Meningitis is the inflammation of the meningeal portion of the body, and it is what covers what it is the brain and the skeletal system. There are no restrictions for travel, the only thing that we do recommend if you are planning to have a procedure done that involves the injection or puncturing of the meninges, whether it’s for anesthesia or collection by cerebral spinal fluid, that is not recommended,” said Quinones.

For those who recently underwent surgery involving an epidural injection in Matamoros, the CDC advises people to seek an evaluation for fungal meningitis immediately.

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