HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Department of State Health Services is closing its investigation into cases of fungal meningitis linked to cosmetic procedures done in Matamoros.
In a news release, DSHS stated that the most recent Texas case associated with the outbreak developed symptoms in May, and was reported to public health in July.
“Public health follow up will continue for hospitalized patients,” DSHS stated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest update showed 151 U.S. cases still under investigation. Of those, 122 are among Texas residents. In total, 12 people have died as a result of the outbreak, 11 being Texas residents.
DSHS said that the majority of the patients infected with fungal meningitis were women, ranging in age from 23 to 52 years old.
The latest updated report from DSHS shows there are still eight confirmed cases, 12 probable cases (test results suggest meningitis), and three suspected cases with tests pending or unknown.
In July, ValleyCentral spoke with Dr. Jose Campo Maldonado, an infectious disease physician and Director of Infection Surveillance for the UTRGV School of Medicine and director of antibiotic stewardship at Valley Baptist Medical Center.
Maldonado referenced a similar outbreak in Durango, Mexico last year, which involved the same species of fungi. While it has not been publicly confirmed, Maldonado believes the two outbreaks may be connected.
“We are talking about a rare disease,” he said. “And it’s happening in two different locations in the same country. It’s the same organism, with the same type of procedure, a procedure done by different people in two different locations … How can you explain a rare phenomena with so many similar characteristics?”
Those who believe they may be infected with fungal meningitis, or who underwent procedures at River Side Surgical Center or Clinica K-3 in Matamoros from January 1 to May 13 are asked to go to the nearest emergency room.