Aromatherapy products are widely sold in the United States, and many of these products are imported from abroad. It is the first time CDC has identified melioidosis bacteria in an India-made aromatherapy product.
An aromatherapy spray, made in India and marketed in the US, has been affirmed to include a bacteria that affected four people’s health ahead this year. Two persons died, America’s federal health company has announced.
People are at risk for melioidosis infection if they visit an area where the bacteria naturally occurs or have someone else who does. Even when traveling to areas where it is expected, taking sensible precautions will lower the risk of illness.
The CDC announced laboratory experiments had recognized the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei in this India-made spray.
The same kind of virus that influenced four people’s health in the US ahead this year. CDC announced the spray was discovered on October 6 in the house of a Georgia citizen who became sick with melioidosis in late July.
The bacteria that cause melioidosis are found in soil and water in tropical and subtropical regions. People with cuts or abrasions are at the greatest risk for infection because the bacteria can get into the body through these wounds.
Other people are more likely to get sick through inhalation or ingestion, or they might be exposed to contaminated food or water. People can also get melioidosis from working around animals, such as horses and cattle.
CDC Recommendation On Melioidosis Infection
CDC recommends that people at risk for melioidosis infection wash their hands regularly with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds.
They should avoid touching other objects after using the bathroom or changing a bandage since any contaminated area could be a source of infection. Patients who have been sick with melioidosis can be treated with antibiotics to prevent the bacteria from causing disease.
CDC is working with the FDA and other federal and state partners to investigate the source of melioidosis in these four patients. If other illnesses are found, CDC will continue to investigate them, too. CDC also urges consumers not to use a product that could be contaminated with melioidosis bacteria.
“The retail giant is also notifying customers who bought the spray between July and October this year to take it back to their local store for disposal.
Walmart said it takes its role in providing quality products very seriously. It also works with the CDC, FDA, state health departments, and suppliers on the recall.
“We do not believe the product is still available in Walmart stores, and we are contacting impacted customers now,” Walmart noted.
The CDC said it continues to investigate this outbreak and whether the other three patients might have used this or similar products.
It has been testing genetic fingerprints of the bacteria found in all four of these patients and soil, water, and consumer products from in and around their homes since the agency began getting samples from them in May.
The agency has so far received over 6,500 samples taken from the four patients. The agency conducts this kind of investigation to identify the source of melioidosis bacteria to prevent it.
The CDC also conducts laboratory testing to find the genetic fingerprints of bacteria that might cause illness.
The agency has tested soil, water, animals, and various consumer products in and around these patients’ homes since May 2019. CDC is approaching the investigation as if the melioidosis bacteria caused these illnesses.
The agency’s investigation is also trying to confirm whether the product is still for sale or in stock at Walmart stores and whether other related products or brands may pose a similar risk.
It appears that the patients used only one product. Still, the CDC has been working with state health departments to determine whether anyone else who used a similar product may have become ill during this period.
Anyone who has a skin wound in a place where melioidosis bacteria might be present, or who has been to an area where melioidosis bacteria can be found, should report it to their physician, the CDC said. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches and pains, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
“Melioidosis is uncommon in the United States, but it is important to be aware of it because it can be fatal if not treated promptly with antibiotics,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. About 12 melioidosis cases are reported annually in the US.
A patient can have symptoms indistinguishable from a cold or flu but develop pneumonia or sepsis within 24 to 48 hours. “It is best to get treatment right away when symptoms are present.
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