Melioidosis

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    In News 

    • A made-in-India aromatherapy spray is being pulled off retail giant Walmart’s shelves in the United States after a medical investigation linked it to melioidosis.

    About 

    • The spray was reported to contain a bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei.
    • The spray, “Better Homes and Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones”, was found in the home of a Georgia resident who became ill with melioidosis in late July.
      • Other than mentioning that the spray was manufactured in India, no other details on the spray’s origins were disclosed.

    About Melioidosis

    • Melioidosis is also called Whitmore’s disease. It  is a rare but serious disease in the United States with 12 cases reported annually. 
    • It is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.
    • It is predominantly a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. 
    • The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. 
    • One study suggested melioidosis to be endemic to India with an annual incidence of close to 52,500 cases.

    Transmission:

    • It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.
    • Humans and animals are believed to acquire the infection by inhalation of contaminated dust or water droplets, ingestion of contaminated water, and ingestion of soil-contaminated food or other contact with contaminated soil, especially through skin abrasions.

    Signs and Symptoms:

    • There are several types of melioidosis infection, each with its own set of symptoms.
    • However, melioidosis has a wide range of signs and symptoms like
    • Localized Infection:
    • Localized pain or swelling
    • Fever
    • Ulceration
    • Abscess

    Treatment:

    • It can be treated with the use of appropriate medication and treatment generally starts with intravenous (within a vein) antimicrobial therapy for a minimum of 2 weeks (up to 8 weeks depending on the extent of infection), followed by 3–6 months of oral antimicrobial therapy.

    Source: TH