BALTIMORE (October 2, 2012) – During the week of Sept 17, 2012, The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Baltimore County Department of Health began investigating a cluster of three severe invasive Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections in persons who recently had liposuction at a cosmetic surgery center, Monarch MedSpa, in Timonium, Maryland. As reported previously, the procedures occurred in mid-August to mid-September. All three patients were hospitalized; one subsequently died. DHMH and Baltimore County ordered the facility closed on September 18.
Because there are also Monarch MedSpa facilities in other states, the investigation has expanded. A coordinated effort with Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is underway. The status of the Maryland investigation is ongoing, and to date, no additional Maryland cases have been identified.
Cosmetic surgery centers in Maryland are not currently subject to state licensure. DHMH is seeking public comment on potential approaches to oversight of these facilities. For more information about how to submit comments, visit http://dhmh.maryland.gov/SitePages/Outpatient%20Surgical%20Centers.aspx.
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.