Wednesday, June 7, 2023
HomeUncategorizedMississippi CDC investigates rare bacteria found in Bay Area

Mississippi CDC investigates rare bacteria found in Bay Area

The Mississippi Department of Health, through a joint investigation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has identified for the first time in the United States a rare bacterium that causes melioidosis.

Melioidosis is a rare disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei. The bacteria were found in soil samples along the Mississippi Gulf coast.

Burkholderia pseudomallei is a soil bacterium endemic to tropical and subtropical regions of the world (such as Thailand and northern Australia), and recently, however, natural disasters have spread it to southern China, Hong Kong, and countries in the Americas, etc. area.

Burkholderia pseudomazei in distilled water for 16 years, proving that it can live in water if given a specific environment.

It infects humans and other most common livestock such as goats, pigs and sheep. It was also able to infect plants in a laboratory setting

for investigation because two people with melioidosis, both on the Gulf Coast, fell ill two years apart. Soil samples collected from the CDC around the patient’s home tested positive. This suggests that bacteria in the environment may have been the source of infection for the two people, and that these bacteria have been around since at least 2020.

State epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said most cases were in the U.S. as a result of travel to other countries where the bacteria are known to commonly occur.

“Usually, we see these bacteria in countries where the bacteria are endemic or commonly occurring. Burkholderia pseudomallei usually occurs in tropical and subtropical regions such as Southeast Asia or Central or South America. As in the Mississippi Gulf of Mexico This bacteria has been found along the coast, and people at high risk for severe infection who live on the Gulf Coast should take the recommended precautions,” Byers said.

Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by direct contact with Burkholderia pseudomazei in contaminated soil or water. Symptoms include fever, joint pain and headache. Infection can lead to pneumonia and blood infection (sepsis).

Most healthy individuals who have been exposed to Burkholderia pseudomallei have never developed melioidosis. People living on the Gulf Coast with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, or excessive alcohol use can become seriously ill from infection and need to take precautions to protect themselves.

At-risk individuals should:

  • Avoid contact with soil or muddy water – especially after heavy rain.
  • Protect open wounds with waterproof dressings.
  • Waterproof boots for gardening, yard work, or agricultural work – preventing infection through the feet and lower legs (after floods or storms) is critical.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from soil when working directly.

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