|Cases of melioidosis have also been linked to imported contaminated commercial products from disease-endemic countries. This happened in the US in 2021, when a cluster of four cases in four states were linked to an imported contaminated aromatherapy spray. (Photo by=Getty Images)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] US health officials say they have found a rare but dangerous type of bacterium in soil and water samples in the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi. The bug, called Burkholderia pseudomallei, can make some people extremely sick if they become infected, BBC reported.
Most healthy people who come into contact will not develop a serious illness called melioidosis, which can be treated with antibiotics. Medics are now on alert for any possible cases. Melioidosis can occur in people who have underlying diseases, like diabetes and chronic kidney disease. The US Centers for Disease Control is advising residents who might be at higher risk to take precautions: avoid contact with soil or muddy water, when possible, particularly after heavy rains, and protect open wounds with waterproof dressings.
"Given the very small number of cases of melioidosis identified historically in the United States, CDC believes the risk of melioidosis for the general population continues to be very low," the agency said. It's unclear how long it has been in the environment and where else it might be found in the US. Worldwide, most cases are in people who live in or have traveled to, areas where the bacterium naturally occurs, such as parts of South and South East Asia and northern Australia.