LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is aware of two cases of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Arkansans who had surgery in Tijuana, Mexico. These cases have been linked to a national outbreak, according to a news release issued Jan. 22.


As part of the investigation of these infections, Mexican health officials identified poor infection control practices at Grand View Hospital, including unsafe processes for cleaning surgical equipment.


As a precaution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ADH recommend that anyone who had surgery at Grand View Hospital at Tijuana during or after August 2018 get screened for the hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The risk for developing one of these infections is thought to be low, according to the release.


Any Arkansan who received medical treatment at the Grand View Hospital during or after August 2018 is asked to call the ADH at 501-661-2136 to arrange testing. Anyone who received medical care in Tijuana before August 2018 should talk with their health care provider if they are interested in screening for these diseases.


Also, anyone who had surgery in Tijuana and is experiencing signs of an infection, such as fever or redness, pus or swelling at their surgical incision site, should seek medical care immediately as serious complications may result without prompt treatment. Patients should make sure to tell their health care provider about their travel and all medical care or surgeries they had abroad to help guide effective treatment.


More information is also available from the CDC at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/drug-resistant-infections-mexico.


ADH is issuing this alert regarding medical tourism to Tijuana. According to the CDC, medical tourism refers to traveling to another country for medical care. Details: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/medical-tourism.