According to health experts, another American died after receiving cosmetic surgery in Mexico.
The person, who was thought to be from Texas, passed away from a brain fungal infection that US medical professionals suspect was brought on by unsterilized equipment used south of the border.
After a Texas lady passed away last week, they are the second person to die of fungal meningitis after flying to Mexico for cheap plastic surgery.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes more than 200 Americans who traveled to clinics in Matamoros between January and May 13 may be at risk.
It comes after increasing warnings about medical tourism, which are much cheaper but pose dangers because they are not as well regulated.
About 1.2 million U.S. residents travel to Mexico each year to receive elective surgery at a discount, according to Medical Tourism Mexico, which advertises that patients can save up to 80% on a similar procedure in the U.S.
The map above shows the location of Matamoros, where the procedures took place. People are urged not to go there for medical procedures
Health authorities in Mexico have now closed the River Side Surgical Center (left) and Clinica K-3 (right) linked to the fungal meningitis outbreak
All patients underwent surgery in Matamoros, on the Texan border, where two clinics – River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3 – have now closed.
Officials are trying to contact anyone who has visited the clinics since January to urge them to get tested, saying it could take more than six weeks for symptoms to appear.
All patients had cosmetic surgeries between January and May 13, including liposuction, which is the removal of fat from parts of the body.
A total of 221 U.S. patients who have visited clinics are at risk, health authorities in Mexico say, while the CDC said they have identified three more potential patients.
There is a thriving health tourism industry in Mexico where medical procedures can be offered at a fraction of the price of those in the US.
Each year, about 1.2 million Americans go to the country for procedures.
More than two dozen state and local health departments are currently working with the CDC to contact all patients at risk of infection.
The CDC has already warned Americans to cancel any surgeries they have booked in Matamoros, Mexico, for fear they could also become infected.
Dr. Jennifer Shuford, of the Texas Department of Health, said last week: ‘It is very important that people who have recently had medical procedures in Mexico check themselves for symptoms of meningitis.
“Meningitis, especially when caused by bacteria or fungi, can be a life-threatening illness unless treated quickly.”
Patients likely became infected after an epidural, when a needle is used to inject an anesthetic into the area around the spinal cord to numb pain.
Meningitis is a swelling of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord due to an infection.
Early signs of the disease include fever, headache, stiff neck, and sensitivity to light.
But if left untreated, patients can have seizures, go into a coma, and die from the infection.
Photo of cars crossing the border from Brownsville, Texas, to Matamoros, Mexico
Fungal infections can cause meningitis, including Blastomyces, which recently caused an outbreak at a paper mill in Michigan, and Candida albicans, the fungus behind thrush.
Treatment involves administering courses of antifungal medications, usually given into a vein through an IV.
They may need to get the drug for six months to a year.
Two Texans die from fungal BRAIN infection linked to cut-price plastic surgeries