A genetic analysis has tied a cluster of melioidosis cases in the US to an aromatherapy spray, Bloomberg reports.
Melioidosis, a rare and sometimes fatal condition, is caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, Reuters reports, noting that the bacteria are generally found in tropical regions. However, it notes that people in Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, and Texas had fallen ill. Bloomberg adds that investigators uncovered the bacteria in an aromatherapy spray bottle found in the home of a Georgia patient who died and genetically matched it to the bacteria found in the others.
"When you think about the thousands of things people come in contact with around their homes, it's remarkable we were able to identify the source and confirm it in the lab," Inger Damon, the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, tells Fox 5 Atlanta.
Bloomberg adds that Wal-Mart has recalled the aromatherapy spray, which was manufactured in India, and will provide a refund and gift card to those who return it,. It further notes that the CDC warns against throwing the spray away or dumping it down the drain, as B. pseudomallei isn't common in the US and it doesn't want it to gain a toehold.