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Home / Health / The resident of Washington goes to Mexico for surgery, returning with a rare, potentially deadly infection

The resident of Washington goes to Mexico for surgery, returning with a rare, potentially deadly infection



by Karina Mazhukhina / KOMO News

Bacteria of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Photo credit: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ̵

1; Medical Illustrator)

What began as a low-cost medical operation in Tijuana (Mexico) became a resident of Washington Development of a rare infection by a potentially deadly bacterial strain. As of Thursday noon, the Centers for Disease Control will report three suspected and twelve confirmed cases of infection across America, including Arkansas, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Texas, Virginia, and two in Washington state.

The bacteria, known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can cause serious infections in hospitalized or immunocompromised patients, according to the CDC. The bacterium becomes more resistant to antibiotics, making the infection more difficult to treat.

Eight of the travelers operated on at the Grand View Hospital in Tijuana, where doctors offer weight loss surgery for a few thousand dollars, according to the hospital's website. The average cost of gastric bypass surgery in America is $ 23,000, and the hospital in Tijuana offers it for $ 3,999.

The Mexican government closed the hospital until further notice. The CDC advises travelers not to perform any operations in this hospital until the government can confirm that the bacteria no longer exist.

Of the 15 reported cases, 13 were between August and December 2018. There was also one case from 2015 and one from 2017, said David Diagle with the CDC.

Reporting Furthermore, they did not focus on identifying cases before fall 2018, so that cases from previous years may not have been reported, added Diagle.

"Healthy people have a low risk of acquiring this organism," said Diagle. "However, we are concerned about these highly resistant bacteria spreading in healthcare."

Patients in hospitals, especially respirators and wounds from surgical procedures or burns, are potentially at risk for serious, life-threatening infections , The bacteria can spread in the hands of health care workers or equipment that is contaminated and not properly cleaned.

"When a patient is known to have highly resistant bacteria, health care providers take special precautions, such as wearing clothes and gloves, to devote certain medical devices to this patient's use to prevent the spread of the bacteria to other patients," he said Diagle

(but) "If a patient is not recognized as being at risk for these resistant bacteria at the time of hospitalization in the US, that increases the risk of spread," he added.

Although there is still hope for it In other countries, there is a precedent of resistance for this type to spread rapidly, with a corresponding increase in the percentage of infections resistant to an antibiotic ", said Diagle, who in practice means that An antibiotic of choice, such as c arbapenemes (used to treat the bacteria), can quickly become ineffective, which could impose limited opportunities on providers, possibly with unwanted side effects.

The CDC has confirmed a death, but it is still unclear whether she was bound to the infection – reporting that other health conditions are affected.

"In short, it's important to note that medical and surgical procedures performed anywhere, even in the United States, present some risk and can lead to complications," said Diagle. "Persons traveling to the United States for medical care should visit a travel medicine specialist in the United States at least one month prior to travel and examine the doctor or physician performing the procedure, as well as the clinic or hospital. Standards for providers and clinics abroad may differ from those in the US.


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