Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Announced that it is working with the state health departments of Texas, Kansas and Minnesota to investigate three rare and serious cases of bacterial infection called melioidosis.
Considering that this disease is endemic in tropical and subtropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia, this disease is very common, so these cases are not common. In the United States, most cases of this disease—about a dozen are found each year—often occur in people who have recently been to these areas. But none of these three people reported traveling outside the continental United States.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that the three cases-one man and two women-may have a common source of exposure, such as imported products or animals, but it is not clear what this is. Officials discovered the first case in March, and the person eventually died. Two more cases were detected in May-one of them is still in hospital and the other has been discharged to the transitional care ward.
What is melioidosis?
Melioidosis, also known as Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease caused by bacteria. Burkholderia pseudomallei, This will affect humans and animals.
This bacteria is found in contaminated water and soil. Humans and animals in direct contact with contaminated sources may become infected. The main routes of infection are inhalation of contaminated dust or water droplets, ingestion of contaminated water or soil-contaminated food, and contact with contaminated soil, especially when the individual has skin abrasions.
It is believed that the disease does not spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. In fact, human-to-human transmission is very rare, with only a few recorded cases. In addition to humans, animals that are susceptible to the disease include sheep, goats, pigs, horses, cats, dogs, and cattle.
According to the CDC, the symptoms of melioidosis vary according to the type of infection: local infection, lung infection, bloodstream infection, or disseminated infection.
For local infections, symptoms may include local pain or swelling, fever, ulcers, and abscesses. A lung infection-an infection that affects the lungs-can cause cough, chest pain, high fever, headache, and anorexia.
If the bacteria infect the blood, the patient may experience fever, headache, respiratory distress, abdominal discomfort, joint pain, and disorientation. At the same time, symptoms of disseminated infection include fever, weight loss, stomach or chest pain, muscle or joint pain, headache, and seizures.
Because melioidosis can produce such a wide range of symptoms, it is often mistaken for other diseases, such as tuberculosis or more commonly pneumonia.
The time between exposure to bacteria and onset of symptoms can vary greatly, ranging from one day to several years, but symptoms usually appear after two to four weeks.
The disease can be treated with antimicrobial therapy. People with certain underlying diseases (such as diabetes, liver disease, or cancer) may be at higher risk. The mortality rate of this disease varies depending on the clinical manifestations of the symptoms, ranging from 10% to 50%.