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Bring it Back In

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.

The Scan

Looking for Omicron

NPR reports that SARS-CoV-2 testing in the US has gotten better but also that some experts say more needs to be done to better track the Omicron variant.

Holmes Alleges Abuse

The Associated Press reports that Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes has testified at her wire fraud trial that her business and romantic partner abused her.

Bit More Diverse, But More to Do

While Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to participate in cancer clinical trials than previously, they are still underrepresented, according to US News & World Report.

PNAS Papers on Yeast Gene Silencing, Zika Virus Inhibition, Immunoglobulin Hypermutation

In PNAS this week: gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, possible neuroprotective role for SHFL in a mouse model of Zika virus infection, and more.