CDC found 'multiple lapses' in cleaning, disinfection at Florida cosmetic clinic

The CDC says it found "multiple lapses" in proper infection control and prevention procedures at a Florida outpatient cosmetic surgery clinic linked to 15 cases of infection with nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), according to a report released Jan. 25.

Officials from the Florida Department of Health who worked alongside the CDC for the investigation added that they found some of those lapses to include "cleaning practices, use of personal protective equipment, and surgical device disinfection" at the clinic. 

Since nontuberculous mycobacteria is not a nationally notifiable disease, and patients were spread across nine states, the investigation was challenging, the report notes.

"Health care providers should have a high index of suspicion for extrapulmonary NTM when evaluating patients for postsurgical infection after cosmetic procedures," the CDC report advises. 

Along with its report, the CDC also pointed to previously published case definitions, thresholds for reporting, and guidelines for what to do in the event of an outbreak of drug-resistant nontuberculous mycobacteria.

In all cases, the CDC warns clinicians to be "aware of the existing threshold for notifying public health officials, realizing NTM infections could develop months after surgery."

While the agency's investigation focused on cases connected to a clinic in Florida in February 2023, several other instances of acquired infections following cosmetic procedures at other locations made headlines in the last year as well. In June, a fungal meningitis outbreak with infected patients in at least 23 U.S. states was linked back to two cosmetic clinics in Matamoros, Mexico.

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