A BACTERIA that causes a rare tropical disease was found in soil and water in the continental US. The germ was found in Mississippi on the prope
A BACTERIA that causes a rare tropical disease was found in soil and water in the continental US.
The germ was found in Mississippi on the property of a man who had melioidosis, a rare and sometimes deadly disease.
A bacteria containing melioidosis was found in soil on a property in Michigan, said the CDC[/caption]
Officials aren’t sure how long the bacteria had been there but they believe it is very likely it is occurring in other areas along the Gulf Coast.
In a health alert, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that US doctors should consider melioidosis in patients, even if they haven’t traveled to other countries.
“Once it’s in the soil, it can be a health threat for people in the area,” said Julia Petras of the CDC, who oversaw the investigation.
Some early symptoms of the illness are fever, joint pain and headaches. It can be treated with antibiotics if caught early.
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However, if untreated, the disease can lead to pneumonia, blood infections and even death.
Only about 12 cases are reported in the states annually and most of the cases are in people who traveled to places where the bacteria is commonly found such as regions of Australia, Thailand and Central and South America.
Four people came down with the disease last year despite not traveling internationally.
Officials said their illnesses were the result of a contaminated aromatherapy spray imported from India.
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The new findings explain how two Mississippi men, who also didn’t leave the country, got the disease as well.
One man got melioidosis in 2020, while the other came down with the illness in 2022.
The two men live only ten miles away from each other, said officials.
It wasn’t said exactly where the two men lived but investigators took 109 soil and water samples from the area.
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The germ was found in three spots – two in soil and one in a puddle – on property belonging to the man who was sick back in 2020.
According to investigators, finding the bacteria is significant but not surprising as CDC officials believed that soil contamination was the reason behind infections in Atascosa County in Texas in 2004 and 2018.
Only about 12 cases of melioidosis are reported each year[/caption]