Rapid risk assessment: Outbreak of VIM-producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa linked to medical tourism to Mexico

Risk assessment
11 Mar 2019

This outbreak of Verona integron-encoded metallo-beta-lactamase-producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-CRPA) surgical site infections, related to invasive procedures performed in healthcare facilities in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, highlights the risks associated with medical tourism for patients and healthcare systems in the countries of origin.

Executive summary

Only a few European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) citizens are likely to have travelled to and undergone surgical procedures in the healthcare facilities associated with the outbreak, mainly the Grand View Hospital, in Tijuana, Mexico. Therefore, the risk of introduction and further spread of VIM-CRPA from this specific outbreak to healthcare facilities in the EU/EEA is low. However, there is an ongoing high risk of multidrugresistant organisms (MDROs) being imported into hospitals and other healthcare settings in the EU/EEA from patients hospitalised abroad for planned medical procedures and unexpected medical events. This applies to patients who travel and are hospitalised within the EU/EEA as well as outside the EU/EEA.