ADH Issues Alert After Two Arkansans Return From Mexico With Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — The Arkansas Department of Health issued a public alert Tuesday after two Arkansans returned from surgery in Mexico with antibiotic-resistant infections.

Meg Mirivel, Public Information Director for the health department, said in a news release that the two Arkansans traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, for surgery at Grand View Hospital, where they picked up the infections. An investigation by Mexican health officials identified poor infection control practices at the hospital, including unsafe processes for cleaning surgical equipment.

As a result of the investigations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the ADH recommend that anyone who has had surgery at that Grand View Hospital in Tijuana during or after August 2018 get screened for infections, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, though risks in developing these is thought to be low, Mirivel said.

Mirivel said anyone with any symptoms of infection — including fever, redness, pus or swelling at the surgical site — should seek medical care immediately.

More information is available at the CDC's website.  The CDC also has a page dedicated to medical tourism and the risks, which can be found here.

Like so many others Tiffani Tucker of Poteau struggled to lose weight after having children. Five years she decided to have weight loss surgery in Mexico.

"I really couldn't see myself spending $15,000-20,000. So, I went to (Cancun) Mexico and I paid $5,000," said Tucker.

Tucker said the experience was positive and calls the facility where her surgery was performed was clean, and the staff professional.

She lost 80 pounds in just six months.

Tucker said news of the bacteria outbreak is scary, but she still has no regrets and would do the surgery again tomorrow.

"I did my research and I knew what to expect. That's the main thing, do your research," said Tucker.

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