Health: Meliodosis

The Story:

Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that it has been investigating four cases if meliodosis in the U.S. This is extraordinary because meliodosis is a tropical disease, rarely seem in climate-temperate countries.


The patients cited by the CDC reside in, respectively: Texas, Kansas, Georgia, and Minnesota. Although one would suspect that some or perhaps all of them had travelled to a tropical region (such as southeast Asia), contracted meliodosis there, and returned to the US before the symptoms arose: each of these patients denies having been involved in any such travel.

Symptoms include: chest pains, high fever, headache, or unexplained weight loss.

Meliodosis is a bacterial infection that may compromise the immune system. If the disease is now being contracted within the United States: should that worry us?

In Pill Form:

The CDC says that person-to-person contagion is very rare. The usual way one gets meliodosis is by contact with either soil or water in which the bacteria are present. Healthcare workers for example are not in danger of contracting this disease from patients such as these four so long as standard precautions are taken.

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