It was a mystery, by any definition of the word – rare infection Tropical has infected people in the non-tropical states of Minnesota and Kansas, as well as Texas in the United States. The first patient to contract the disease died in March in Kansas.
They all got infected with bacteria known as Burkholderia pseudomallei. The disease it causes is called melioidosis, and is characterized by nonspecific symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue and nausea. Microorganisms appear most commonly in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and northern Australia, and are found in contaminated soil and water.
It is not expected to find bacteria in its midst United StateAnd certainly not in an aromatherapy spray with lavender essence gemstones.
Usually, when chlamydial disease is diagnosed in Americans, it is associated with travel. But these cases arose in the middle of the year pandemic, when international travel was practically non-existent. None of the affected families traveled.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issue an alert In June, when the three cases were listed in Kansas, Minnesota and Texas. When they found the source this month, four people fell ill and two of them died.
Cold cliffs and hunting missions
Leads have fallen off in Kansas, said Jennifer McQuiston, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who helped lead the investigation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worked with state health departments to try to discover how people contracted such an unusual disease.
“It was really a fishing trip because we didn’t have any clues to point us in any direction,” McQuiston said. CNN International.
“The teams actually looked at personal care products, lotions, soaps, food items, vitamins — things they might have been exposed to,” McKeston said.
“Cleaning products – all those kinds of things. The problem with Burkholderia pseudomallei is that they really need a moist environment to survive. It can prevail in some types of humidity where you wouldn’t normally think of bacteria remaining, even hand sanitizers. “
In July, a patient died of chlamydia in Georgia. Genetic testing has linked evidence to the other three cases.
The CDC teams have doubled down on their research, looking at all the products they can find that could be the source of the bacteria. However, there were no clear data.
“They tested several hundred samples and it looked like they were at a standstill,” McKeston said.
In a last-ditch effort, they returned to the home of another sick person for a fresh look earlier this month.
“In this second specific survey, they collected a sample from an air cleaner bottle that was not collected the first time, and this week we got positive PCR results from an air cleaner bottle for Burkholderia pseudomalleiMcQuiston said.
PCR – polymerase chain reaction – is the same type of laboratory test used to amplify the genetic material of Covid-19 tests. This time, the examination revealed the presence of genetic material from the accused of a bacterial crime.
There, they found: “Butter Homes and Gardens Lavender and Chamomile Aromatherapy Spray with Gemstones from Better Homes and Gardens.” The product is made in India and sold at Walmart, which recalled it on Friday (22).
“We were all very relieved that there was something that indicated a source of infection because our biggest concern was that whatever the cause of the infection in the previous four cases might still be present, posing a risk to people’s health,” McQuiston said.
“He showed us that this was true – our instincts were correct because there are families in America who have this bottle of air perfume in their homes, which is probably in use,” she added.
“That is why we thought it was very important to disseminate this information quickly, although we are still awaiting confirmation results from sequence, indicating that what came out of the bottle corresponds to the patient from Georgia. The results of the PCR report led to this alert moving forward.”
The CDC was able to link the bacteria strain to patients in Texas, Kansas and Minnesota. “So we have A connected to B and B connected to C, and the sequencing results will help us connect A to C,” McQuiston said.
It is not clear which component of the aerosol may be the contaminant. However, they can be “gems”.
“Rocks are collected from the environment and there are bacteria in environment“If the rocks weren’t sterilized before laying, that’s a possibility,” McQuston said. “Another thing is the possibility of contamination of another component and that the rocks form a small microenvironment in this flask for bacteria to grow,” he added.
“So, we don’t know the meaning of rocks yet, but the presence of rocks in a perfume bottle is definitely unusual. I think it’s something we’re interested in observing.”
McCoyston said the same manufacturer made other fragrances using “gems,” which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will examine.
It is also not clear how people can become infected with spray. The victims don’t necessarily seem to have inspired him.
“A lot of people said they spray it on pillows at night“Before they go to bed, to give them a nice fragrance — so you can imagine there are uses for that, beyond just spraying in a room, where you can put someone in very close contact with bacteria,” McKeston said.
The researchers will now return to see if the patient in Texas purchased the same brand of spray.
“There was no mention of this specific product or brand in the initial interview questions, I think states are committed to these families,” McQuiston said. “I think there was mention of a possible perfume spray on a family member of the patient from Texas. So I think we’ll try to go back and dig in more carefully.”
This is the hard part. “We may or may not make that contact, as many months go by. The bottle may not be at home, but I think there will be a try.”
It likely wouldn’t be possible for the Kansas patient, who died in March, or for the Minnesota patient, she said.
“But I have to say we’ve heard that these two guys have a history of using scented products or essential oils, so I think you can imagine the possibility of that connection.”
Epidemiologists at the CDC are often called disease screening, and this is an example of why.
“You weigh the thrill of being able to solve this puzzle combined with the horrific knowledge that two people died and four families were greatly affected by it,” McCuston said. “And I really think knowing how serious this is is what drove our scientists to work so hard to try and solve this puzzle.”
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