CDC: US Fungal Meningitis Cases Linked to Clinics in Mexico

Credit: James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Affected patients underwent procedures in Matamoros, Mexico.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is alerting health care providers of an outbreak of suspected fungal meningitis in US patients.

These patients were hospitalized in Texas after undergoing cosmetic procedures under epidural anesthesia in the city of Matamoros, state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. According to the CDC, it is currently unknown what organism is causing the outbreak; 1 of the 5 patients hospitalized has died.

For patients who present with symptoms consistent with fungal meningitis following a medical or surgical procedure under epidural anesthesia in Matamoros, Mexico (after January 1, 2023), the CDC advisory recommends brain imaging and a diagnostic lumbar puncture (unless contraindicated). If fungal meningitis is suspected, consultation with an infectious disease specialist is recommended.

Treatment with broad-spectrum antifungal medications should be initiated promptly, regardless of diagnostic test results. Dual antifungal therapy has been used in previous fungal meningitis outbreaks and can be considered for these patients.

Suspected fungal meningitis cases should be reported to state or local health departments. The agency has linked 2 clinics to this outbreak, the River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3, though more facilities may be identified as the investigation continues.

Additional recommendations for individuals and clinical laboratories can be found here.