Rare and Deadly Bacterial Disease Now in US, CDC Warns | Health, Medicine and Fitness
Physician Information Staff
THURSDAY, July 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A bacterium that causes a rare but serious illness was discovered in soil and water samples in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region after two people living nearby fell ill .
In an advisory released Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Gulf Coast residents, especially those with certain health conditions, to take precautions against Burkholderia pseudomallei and prevent a disease it causes: melioidosis.
Symptoms of melioidosis can include fever, joint pain, and headache. It can also cause pneumonia, abscesses and blood infections. Melioidosis is fatal in about 10-50% of infected people worldwide, and it usually surfaces in tropical and subtropical regions, such as South and Southeast Asia, northern Australia, Porto Rico and parts of Central and South America.
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The agency is warning clinicians nationwide to check for melioidosis when patients have symptoms consistent with the disease.
Melioidosis is caused by direct contact with the bacteria. While about a dozen people in the United States get it each year, most have recently traveled to a country where it is endemic. The disease has also been linked to contaminated commercial products imported from countries where the disease is endemic, including a Case 2021 involving an imported contaminated aromatherapy spray that sickened four people in four states.
The CDC and its partners will continue to investigate the geographic spread of the bacteria.