The bacterium that causes the deadly wordworm has been found on US soil for the first time, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announce (Opens in a new tab) Wednesday (27 July).
historically, bacteriaCall Burkholderia pseudomallei, seen primarily in Southeast Asia and northern Australia, where most cases of melioidosis occur each year, although the bacteria can also be found in certain areas of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Central and South America. On average, only about 12 cases melasma They occur in the United States, and these cases can usually be linked to international travel to a country where B. pseudomallei Usually grows, or to contaminated imported products. For example, in 2021, two people fell ill and two more died after using Imported aromatherapy spray contaminated with bacteria.
But now, health officials have detected the bacteria in soil and water samples collected from the Gulf Coast region of southern Mississippi.
“Once it is firmly established in the soil, B. pseudomallei The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in its health advisory that “public health efforts should primarily focus on improving case identification so that appropriate treatment can be provided.”
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The CDC has begun testing Mississippi soil and water B. pseudomallei After two unrelated people in the area contracted kalma, the disease caused by B. pseudomallei It can have a wide range of symptoms and is fatal in up to half of cases diagnosed worldwide. Cases of word disease occurred two years later, in July 2020 and May 2022, and no one had traveled outside the United States prior to infection.
Both patients required hospitalization after extensive body development impervious reaction (sepsis) due to PneumoniaBoth recovered after being treated with antibiotics. Genetic testing showed that both patients had the same strain B. pseudomallei.
With patients’ permission, the CDC and the Mississippi Department of Health collected soil, water, and plants from household products for individuals, properties, and nearby areas they frequent. Soil and pond water taken from patient characteristic of 2020 tested positive for genetic similarity B. pseudomallei Stress the person who caught both patients.
Based on these findings, the CDC concluded that “bacteria from the environment have been the likely source of infection for both individuals and have been present in the area since at least 2020”.
People can get infected B. pseudomallei When the bacteria come into contact with an open wound or abrasion on the skin. They can also become infected by inhaling contaminated water droplets or bits of dust, ingesting contaminated water droplets or eating food grown in contaminated soil.
In areas where B. pseudomallei It’s widespread and people are often exposed to it, and most healthy people who come into contact with the bacteria never develop melioidosis, the CDC noted; In other words, exposure to bacteria does not always lead to disease. However, people with weakened immune systems, diabeticcancer, thalassemia, hereditary blood disorder, and liveror kidney or lung Illness is more likely to get sick and die after exposure. Excessive alcohol use also increases the risk of developing acute leukorrhea, according to the CDC.
Melasma can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, localized pain or swelling, ulcers, abscesses on the skin and various organs, cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, weight loss, abdominal discomfort, muscle and joint pain, confusion, headaches and seizures; Live Science previously reported that infections of the lungs can lead to pneumonia, and infections of the bloodstream can lead to septic shock. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, worldwide, approximately 10% to 50% of diagnosed cases of melasma result in death.
If you live on or visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, especially if you have any of the medical conditions listed above, the CDC recommends taking the following precautions to protect yourself:
- Avoid contact with muddy soil or water, especially after heavy rain.
- Use waterproof dressings to protect open wounds, cuts, or burns from contact with soil or water. If open wounds, cuts, or burns come into contact with soil, wash them thoroughly.
- If you have diabetes, take care of your feet and avoid contaminating foot cuts or other open wounds. Wear shoes and use gloves when gardening or working outdoors (for example, while doing yard work or agricultural work).
- If you work or play outside, wear waterproof shoes during and after a flood or storm, which can prevent infection through the feet and legs.
- See your doctor or go to the emergency room if you’re sick and have signs or symptoms of chlamydial disease. It can be treated with antibiotics that your doctor can prescribe.
- If you are diagnosed with meeloidosis, be sure to complete all the antibiotics your doctor prescribes.
- Drink potable water Do not drink water directly from shallow wells, lakes, rivers, ponds and streams.
Originally published on Live Science.