Bacteria that causes rare, serious illness melioidosis is endemic in parts of Mississippi Gulf Coast, CDC says – CTV

July 28, 2022

The bacteria that causes a rare, serious disease called melioidosis has been detected in water and soil samples in Mississippi, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Burkholderia pseudomallei was found in the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi, the first detection of the bacteria in the environment in the U.S.

“It is unclear how long the bacterium has been in the environment prior to 2020 or how widespread the bacterium is in the continental United States; modeling suggests that the environmental conditions found in the Gulf Coast states are conducive to the growth of B. pseudomallei,” the CDC said in a Health Alert Network Advisory.

The agency asked health care providers across the country to consider melioidosis as a possible diagnosis when people have symptoms, “as melioidosis is now considered to be locally endemic in areas of the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi.

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