Houston woman killed by fungal meningitis after receiving surgery in Matamoros grieved by family, friends
The death toll and amount of suspected cases of fungal meningitis linked to two clinics across the border is rising, according to the state health department.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced they’re now tracking a total of 15 cases of fungal meningitis, and reported a second death linked to people who traveled to two clinics in Matamoros to get cosmetic surgeries that involved the use of an epidural.
Initially, five suspected cases and one death were reported by DHSH last week.
The clinics that were identified as K3 Clinica and Riverside Surgical Center.
Among the dead is 31-year-old Shyanne Medrano, who family and friends say was taken too soon.
She leaves behind an 8-year-old daughter, and dozens of relatives and friends who said they miss her.
“Shyanne was a good person. She was lovable, she was caring, she was a good mother," her best friend Jennifer Roman aid. “They're going to remember her as she was.”
Roman said Medrano traveled from Houston to Matamoros in March to undergo a cosmetic procedure known as the Brazilian butt lift.
“She was scared of doing it prior because she had prior times that she wanted to go through with it, but something always stopped her from going through with it,” Roman said.
Roman said Medrano felt comfortable to make the trip because she found someone to go with her, but began to feel sick right after the surgery.
“As soon as she left the surgery, she was experiencing headaches,” Roman recalled.
Weeks later, Medrano was admitted to an area hospital with fungal meningitis symptoms, which can include nausea, vomiting and fever.
Eventually, Medrano suffered strokes and other complications.
“There was a blood clot that ended up going to her main artery from her brain, and that blood clot is what complicated a lot of things she was experiencing,” Roman said.
Medrano died on May 16, nearly two months after her cosmetic procedure at K3 Clinica.
May 16 was the same day DSHS announced a public health investigation into the fungal meningitis outbreak.
Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said around nine patients are hospitalized in Cameron and Hidalgo counties.
“The numbers even in our community are worrisome, Melendez said, adding that those infected with it may not even know they have it.
“It can be very insidious with its symptoms of headache nausea vomiting fever,” Melendez said. “It can take a while, that's why we're so concerned there could be people with this infection and still not aware of it.”
The Cameron County Health Department said on Thursday they have a list of at least 70 people they're trying to reach to get them tested for fungal meningitis as soon as possible.
That number increased to 155 on Friday.
They’re working to identify the people who had a procedure in Matamoros from Jan. 1 to May 13.
The CDC previously issued a travel advisory urging those traveling to Matamoros to take enhanced precautions and avoid medical procedures involving an epidural.
Those who have gotten surgeries in Matamoros, or know someone who has, are urged to contact the Cameron County Public Health Department at 956-247-3650.