Melioidosis locally endemic in areas of the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Burkholderia pseudomallei isolated in soil and water and linked to two cases – Mississippi, 2020 and 2022
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Melioidosis locally endemic in areas of the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Burkholderia pseudomallei isolated in soil and water and linked to two cases – Mississippi, 2020 and 2022

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      Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network

      July 27, 2022, 3:30 PM ET

      CDCHAN-00470

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei (B. pseudomallei) for the first time in the environment in the continental United States. This bacterium causes a rare and serious disease called melioidosis. B. pseudomallei was identified through environmental sampling of soil and water in the Gulf Coast region of southern Mississippi during an investigation of two human melioidosis cases.

      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 [1]. Extensive environmental sampling is needed to answer these questions.

      This Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory serves to alert clinicians and public health officials throughout the country to consider melioidosis in patients whose clinical presentation is compatible with signs and symptoms of the disease, regardless of travel history to international disease-endemic regions, as melioidosis is now considered to be locally endemic in areas of the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi.

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