Two Americans have been hospitalized with a potentially deadly strain of bacteria.
After multiple cases of the bacteria being spread, US officials have raised alarms about the possibility that serious illnesses could result from the strain.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they had detected the Burkholderia pseudomallei bacterium. “for the first time in the environment in the continental United States” in a recent health alert, noting that the strain is responsible for the rare illness melioidosis – also known as Whitmore’s disease.
Bacteria “was identified through environmental sampling of soil and water in the Gulf Coast region of southern Mississippi during an investigation of two human melioidosis cases,”According to the agency, one confirmed case was detected by the agency in July 2020. However, the confirmation of local bacteria occurred last month.
Although they were decades apart in age, genetic sequencing proved that both melioidosis cases had actually been related. “infected by the same novel strain from the Western Hemisphere,”This was “distinct from previous known isolates,”According to the CDC. The two were both hospitalized for sepsis or pneumonia but were discharged after antibiotic treatments.
The bacteria is most common in subtropical and tropical climates throughout the world. It can also be found in Australia, Central America and South America. The bacteria can lead to severe illness, but the CDC stated that there are no known cases of transmission from one person to another. “considered extremely low as there are few documented cases.”
Oxford University researchers conducted a 2016 study that estimated the disease had killed 89,000 people in the preceding year. They also suggested the possibility of it being present in as many as 79 other countries, 34 of which were not aware. It was reported that the pathogen had been detected in 79 countries. “complete absence”The bacteria is found in the US.
Late 2014 saw the CDC confirm that bacteria leaked from a Louisiana laboratory. Multiple research animals had contracted melioidosis and at least four died. The CDC later shut down the laboratory’s work on B. pseudomallei, saying it had found serious problems with its biosafety procedures.
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