Melioidosis: 4 People Infected and 2 Dead in the U.S from a Rare Tropical Disease

Melioidosis: 4 People Infected and 2 Dead in the U.S from a Rare Tropical Disease
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The CDC has detected a rare tropical disease called melioidosis in four U.S states: Georgia, Kansas, Texas and Minnesota. The tropical disease is caused by bacteria found in soil and water, and it is most common in South Asia. Humans and animals get infected after direct contact For example, after ingesting water droplets or eating food from contaminated soil. 

Previous articles described Whitmore’s disease triggered by the Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria and the treatment scheme. The CDC has to find answers to several questions because this tropical disease is quite rare outside Asia. 

How did those four people get infected?

Several samples have been taken from the four cases, and researchers do not know how those people got infected. The bacteria responsible has not been identified in samples taken from their house, yards and other places. If the CDC finds out how those people got infected in the first place, then experts could understand how it reached the U.S. 

A recent article mentions that U.S experts are trying to determine if the cases are related and that none of the four people had travelled outside the U.S. At the same time, they want doctors to consider running extra tests on patients who do not respond to antibiotic treatments and have been diagnosed with a bacterial infection. 

Similar symptoms between tuberculosis and melioidosis

The CDC report mentions that this rare tropical disease can be confused with tuberculosis or other bacterial infections. Similar symptoms are fever, local swelling, cough, headache and chest pain. Whitmore’s disease can be dangerous for those who suffer from preexisting diseases such as cancer, diabetes or liver-related diseases. Those who are confirmed with the infection need to go through intravenous antimicrobial therapy for a couple of weeks. Then they have to follow antimicrobial therapy for three to six months. Most cases confirmed in the past in the U.S have been from Vietnam veterans or people connected to the Asian continent. It is still a puzzle to find out how these four people got infected. 


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Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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