Fungal meningitis

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Current situation

There's an outbreak of suspected fungal meningitis in Matamoros, Mexico.

Between January 1 and May 13, 2023, patients who underwent procedures under epidural anesthesia at River Side Surgical Center or Clinica K-3 in Matamoros, Mexico, may be at risk of developing fungal meningitis.

If you have symptoms (or even if you don't but think you were exposed), contact your health care provider or go to a hospital immediately. The disease may lead to death if it's left untreated.

About fungal meningitis

Fungi are organisms found in the environment. Although serious fungal infections are rare in healthy individuals, you can get sick from breathing in or coming in contact with fungi spores. Fungal infections can sometimes spread from one part of the body to the brain and spinal cord, causing fungal meningitis.

Fungal meningitis doesn't spread from person to person. It can be caused by many different types of fungi.

Who is most at risk

Fungal meningitis is a rare but serious type of meningitis. Those who are at increased risk of developing the disease are:

In some rare cases, fungal meningitis can develop following medical or surgical procedures if proper infection prevention and control measures aren't followed. The risk may be higher for those receiving medical care outside of Canada. This is because medical practices, health standards and infection control measures may be different from those in Canada.

Symptoms of fungal meningitis

The symptoms of fungal meningitis may develop gradually compared with other forms of meningitis, such as bacterial meningitis. Symptoms can also appear days to weeks after exposure.

Symptoms include:

What to do if you become ill

If you develop symptoms of fungal meningitis, see a health care provider immediately.

Fungal meningitis may lead to death if it's left untreated.

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