Bacteria behind rare disease found in United States for first time ever, CDC issues health advisory
After finding the bacteria behind a rare but serious disease for the first time in the continental United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday issued a health advisory to clinicians.
During an investigation of two human melioidosis cases, B. pseudomallei or Burkholderia pseudomallei was detected in puddle water and soil samples in southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast region.
The household products and the environment around the homes of two people, who got sick due to the same bacteria as they lived in close geographic proximity, were investigated.
As a result of the bacteria, they started experiencing nonspecific symptoms such as fever, headaches, and joint pain.
Mostly related to travel to tropical and subtropical regions, there are about 12 cases in the US per year on average.
Linking a cluster of four people across four states to an imported contaminated aromatherapy spray, Melioidosis caused blood infections, abscess formation, and pneumonia.
The global death rate for those who come into contact with the bacteria is 10-50 per cent although most healthy people do not develop melioidosis.
Advising people in southern Mississippi to take extra precautions, the CDC said underlying conditions include excessive alcohol use, chronic lung or kidney disease, and diabetes.
Highlighting that the risk of melioidosis for the general population continues to be very low, CDC added that precautions include wearing waterproof boots and gloves while gardening, protecting open wounds with dressing, and avoiding contact with soil and muddy water.