DHMH and Baltimore County Department of Health Investigating Cluster of Invasive Group A Streptococcus Associated with Cosmetic Surgery Center

 BALTIMORE (September 19, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Baltimore County Department of Health are investigating a cluster of three severe invasive Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections in persons who recently had liposuction at a cosmetic surgery center, Monarch Med Spa, in Timonium, Maryland.  The procedures occurred in mid-August to mid-September.  All three patients were hospitalized; one subsequently died.

DHMH and Baltimore County have ordered the facility closed while the investigation proceeds to determine possible sources of the infections and to limit further spread (the order is attached).  The facility has been cooperative in the course of the investigation.
 
Any individual who has had any procedure at this facility recently and has concerns about a subsequent infection should consult with his/her primary care provider and notify his/her local health department.  Symptoms may include:
  • Fever or influenza-like syndrome
  • Redness at a wound site
  • Abrupt onset of generalized or localized severe pain and swelling, often rapidly increasing
  • Progressive dizziness, weakness and confusion
Group A Streptococci are often found in the throat and on the skin.  These bacteria are spread through direct contact with mucus from the nose or throat of persons who are infected or through contact with infected wounds or sores on the skin or by contact with contaminated surfaces. Sick individuals, such as those who have strep throat or skin infections (impetigo), are most likely to spread the infection.  Persons (also called “carriers”) who carry the bacteria but have no symptoms are much less contagious.
 
Most GAS infections are relatively mild; however, occasionally these bacteria can cause severe and even life-threatening diseases when they infect parts of the body where bacteria usually are not found, such as the blood, muscle, or the lungs.  These infections are termed "invasive GAS disease."
 
Persons with skin lesions (such as cuts, surgical wounds, chickenpox), the elderly, and adults with a history of alcohol abuse or injection drug use have a higher risk for developing invasive GAS disease.  Also, people with chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and chronic heart or lung disease, and those who use medications such as steroids, have a higher risk.
Over the last five years, an average of 189 cases of invasive GAS were reported annually in Maryland.  About 9,000 to 11,500 cases of invasive GAS disease occur each year in the United States, resulting in 1,000 to 1,800 deaths annually. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/groupastreptococcal_g.htm.
 
Cosmetic surgery centers in Maryland are not currently subject to state licensure. In the near future, DHMH will seek public comment on potential approaches to oversight of these facilities.
 
Media inquiries regarding this infection cluster will be handled by the Baltimore County Department of Health Public Information Office. Call Monique Lyle at 410-887-6092 or 443-463-3757.
 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

Worcester County Health Department encourages residents to take part in the 2nd Annual 1 Billion Steps Challenge through the American Public Health Association. Last year, Worcester walked more than six million steps in the winter and spring, coming in third place among nearly 700 teams across the country. This year, taking part in 1 Billion Steps is easier than ever: individuals and teams can register online using the Stridekick app for smartphones and other devices. The challenge begins on January 1, 2018, and ends on April 8, 2018.

To sign up for Worcester Health's team on Stridekick, click here. For more information, call 410-632-0056.

Read more ...

Baltimore, MD (December 7, 2017) – The 14th Annual Maryland Health Equity Conference, which focuses on needed coordination, collaboration, and available opportunities to address population health and health disparities in Maryland, was held today in Baltimore.

Read more ... Due to inclement weather, the Just Walk Making Strides event scheduled for today is rescheduled for 5-6 p.m. on October 18 at Byrd Park in Snow Hill. For more information, please call 410-632-0056.  Read more ... Maryland’s Minority Health office nets $1 million grant, largest in its history. Funds from U.S. HHS to boost healthcare access in Prince George’s County.
 
Baltimore, MD (September 16, 2015) – The Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) has received its largest grant since its establishment in 2004. MHHD received a five-year grant award totaling $1million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health’s State Partnership Grant Program to Improve Minority Health.   Read more ...
Residents are reminded to take precautions to reduce risk during summer, fall
 
Baltimore, MD (August 18, 2015) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today is announcing the first confirmed and locally acquired case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Maryland this year. The infected individual is an adult who lives in the Baltimore Metropolitan region. In addition, WNV also has been detected in mosquito pools collected in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties. A mosquito pool is a group of mosquitoes collected at one of several trap sites across the state.
Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program