A Utah resident died after traveling to Tijuana, Mexico to undergo weight-loss surgery and testing positive for an antibiotic-resistant form of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria (VIM-CRPA). Eight Utahns, including the patient who died, have been infected or colonized with VIM-CRPA after traveling to Tijuana for similar surgical procedures. All of the other patients recovered. To protect the privacy of the deceased patient and their family, no other information will be released publicly.
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) interviewed the patients or their family members and discovered seven of the eight patients, including the patient who died, reported the same surgeon, Dr. Mario Almanza, performed their operations. Five of these patients reported they had been referred to Dr. Almanza through an online referral service known as Weight Loss Agents.