A very dangerous bacterium discovered in the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on July 27 that it had detected the presence of the bacterium that causes melioidosisin the soil and waters of the Gulf of Mississippi.
This bacterium is Burkholderia pseudomallei or B. pseudomallei. It is the cause of melioidosis, a serious disease whose the mortality rate varies between 15 and 40% of cases in the world. “The acute form of the disease is manifested by respiratory infections (necrotizing pneumonia) and sepsis (with high fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, skin lesions and abscesses). Subacute and chronic forms are characterized by abscesses and lesions suppuratives affecting: lungs (simulating tuberculosis), liver, intestine, spleen, but also skin, lymph nodes, brain and bones”, develops the site of rare diseases Orphanet.
Endemic melioidosis in Asia and Australia
“Early diagnosis and adequate treatment are essential”, further specifies Orphanet, which explained in March 2020 that the disease, endemic in Southeast Asia and northern Australia, was increasing in Europe.
It is the confirmation of two cases of melioidosis, in 2020 and 2022, in the Gulf region which prompted the health authorities to carry out extensive analyzes in the area. The bacterium having been detected in three soil and puddle samples, it would appear, according to CDC experts, that these people were infected through direct contact with contaminated soil and/or water. “Of the average of 12 cases of melioidosis diagnosed in the United States each year, most occurred in people who have recently traveled in a country where this bacterium is endemic”, notes the CDC. The other cases were linked to contaminated products, purchased commercially.
Health authorities alert caregivers to possible new cases and call on the population of the southern gulf coast to be extremely careful, especially during gardening activities in particular. They advise wearing boots, gloves and avoiding any contact with the ground and rainwater.