Fungal Infections Following Surgical Procedures in Mexico

Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions
Map of Mexico highlighting Matamoros. Avoid surgical procedures in this area.
Map of Mexico highlighting location of Matamoros, Mexico. Avoid elective procedures in this area that involve an epidural injection of an anesthetic. (See larger map)
What is a fungal infection?

There are millions of fungal species, but only a few hundred of them can make people sick.

Fungi can cause many different types of illnesses, including asthma or allergies, rashes or infections of the skin and nails, lung infections (pneumonia), bloodstream infection, and meningitis.

Fungal meningitis can develop after a fungal infection is accidently introduced during a medical or surgical procedure or spreads from somewhere else in the body to the brain or spinal cord. 

Although anyone can get fungal meningitis, people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk. Certain health conditions, medications, and surgical procedures may weaken the immune system.

Fungal meningitis is treated with IV (injected through a vein) and oral medications. Treatment length can vary depending on the type of fungus.

Key Points

  • Recently, some US residents returning from Matamoros, Mexico, were diagnosed with suspected fungal meningitis infections that have led to severe illness and death.
  • Travelers with these infections had medical or surgical procedures that involved injection of an anesthetic into the area around the spinal column (i.e., epidural) performed at clinics in Matamoros, including River Side Surgical Center and Clinica K-3.
  • Fungal meningitis infections are not contagious and are not transmitted person to person.
  • Symptoms of fungal meningitis infections include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion, or sensitivity to light. If you had a procedure done in Matamoros that involved an epidural injection of an anesthetic and you experience any of these symptoms, go to a hospital emergency department immediately and tell them about your procedure and where you traveled.
  • If you had a procedure involving an epidural injection of an anesthetic in Matamoros, Mexico, any time since January 1, 2023, learn what additional steps you should take.
  • Cancel any elective procedure that involves an epidural injection of an anesthetic in Matamoros, Mexico, until there is evidence that there is no longer a risk for infection at these clinics.
  • All medical and surgical procedures carry some risk, and complications can occur regardless of where treatment is received. If you travel to another country for a procedure, do not delay seeking medical care if you suspect any complication during travel or after returning home. Obtaining medical care immediately can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment and a better outcome.
  • Learn how to minimize risks if you are considering traveling to another country for medical care.

For Clinicians

If you encounter a patient, with or without symptoms, who has had a medical or surgical procedure involving epidural injection of an anesthetic in Matamoros, Mexico, anytime since January 1, 2023:

Traveler Information

Clinician Information