US residents who went to Mexico for surgery returned with deadly superbug

Originally published at:


So the Trump golden shower didn’t really work out, did not see that coming.


This suuuuuucks.

But the question we should be asking ourselves in this instance is, would Trump’s wall have protected us?

Or perhaps, instead of trying to spend billions of dollars for bullshit, our government should be focused on fixing our fucking healthcare system?


Ugh; any negative news coming out of Mexico will be used as cannon fodder by 45 and his base…



The real question that remains; “Will the insurance now cover the costs of treating the superbug and all of its ailments? …And pay the claims before the patient expires?”


The real question is how many months till we’re all in the same boat?


“Claimant contracted ailment when he exited the glorious free-market for-profit system that benefits us and used a competing horrible free-market system. Claim denied!”




There was a BBC article a few days ago about how Venezula’s cosmetic surgery industry is booming following the economic collapse. Lots of people from out of the country coming in for a cheap facelift

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A devil’s advocate might argue that the reason the surgery is so much more expensive in the U.S. is because that’s what it costs to make it safer.

At least I think that’s what he’d argue. He’s not around today. Meeting with the devil I suppose.


Exactly. Superbugs are present in US hospitals, too, even if to a lesser degree.

The article points to CDC cases of people contracting Q fever from procedures in Germany, and we have television shows based around people who have received substandard treatment in the US.


Although I would not assume that superbugs are usually more prevalent in Mexico (there are outbreaks of these sorts of things, in all kinds of places) the case touches on one of the real problems with people electing to engage in “medical tourism” – and that is the problems in obtaining timely and appropriate aftercare.

People often point to folks with terrible conditions who cannot afford treatment in the US, but there are also many many people who end up with terrible health outcomes for easily treated conditions (like septicemia) simply because they were not able to access timely medical care. Superbugs catches the headlines, but ordinary infection not so much – although it can kill you just as well if you don’t get care in time.


This begs the question, how many people in the U.S. contract superbugs at hospitals? It is a U.S. centric story, but it lacks outside references. Does the story reference U.S. rates also- No. My bet is not intentionally written in a way that is anti X country, but it is a story written as a cautionary tail, a long standing trope in news. I’m guessing not a lot of critical thinking was involved in making the article, nor was it intended to cause one to critically think about the article. I am curious if the rates are higher in Mexico or elsewhere?

Best data I could find with references below:
According the the CDC, 1 patient out of 31 patients contracts a HAI ( healthcare-associated infection). links “Page last updated: October 25, 2018” & “April 20, 2018”

According to the CDC, ≥ “2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection, and at least 23,000 people die [from and antibiotic-resistant infection].” In the United States. link " * Page last updated: September 10, 2018"

According to the CDC, If one is catheterized for surgery at a hospital that does acute care there is a 1 in 7 chance of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection. One has a 1 in 4 chance of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection if one stays more than 25 days. see CDC Superbugs Link “Page last reviewed: March 3, 2016 (archived document)”

This is hard to figure out, as there appears to be a lack of unified language for antibiotic resistant bacteria in recent years. For instance, dash, no dash, simple compound word or not, term superbug or not, definition of a “superbug” left out, but specific species of bacteria left in or a genus with qualifier added, and or no recent data can be quickly found etc… But cursory search yielded the above.

If somebody can find a exact number or even a 1 in x patients, I’d love to know or a comparison of the U.S. to other countries, I’d love to know. This should be easy to find, but isn’t.

Side notes: (A short WHO primer on Superbugs). The CDCs list of Superbugs- with pictures. Neat chart showing rates (some declining) of specific superbugs in the U.S. up to 2016 and antibiotic use in Mexico is about 1/4 the U.S. rate.


superbugs ARE available and common in US hospitals as well.

I live in Silicon Valley, which we could consider a 'modern" place.

I’ve spent the past 8 months fighting off a vicious MRSA infection i got after surgery for a highway accident.

some amazing hospital data can be mined from this site:


Very good point. I live in Tijuana. Sure, there’s a lot of trash and pollution here, but most medical facilities are sufficiently clean. This just felt like a hit piece.


Superbugs. The real question is when America will stop feeding antibiotics to its livestock en masse.


Yes, but include the fucked up insurance system in that. There is no excuse for a profit-based health care insurance system. Way to strong a motivation to keep premiums high and benefits low. Single payer would be a great solution, no?


Oh, believe me, I am including the insurance system in my condemnation of this country’s overall healthcare system. Since the insurance companies aren’t part of the government, they need to be made obsolete.

Single payer would be a lovely solution.


Going to Mexico for cheaper surgery was not uncommon when I lived in San Diego. Usually it was for cosmetic surgery but people went for other procedures as well. Of course the number of clinics grew in response and many were shady at best.

Yeah, well a study by Johns Hopkins indicates that medical error may be the third leading cause of death in the United States. You pays your money and you takes your chances. . .

. . .and then you pays your money again. And you have a gofundme to pay your medical bills. And your children inherit your medical debt.