Melioidosis (Whitemore’s Disease)

Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Burkholderia pseudomallei. It is also known as Whitmore’s disease. The bacteria are found in contaminated water and soil and spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source. Meliodosis is similar to glanders disease which is passed to humans from infected domestic animals.

Racial Occurrence of Melioidosis (Whitemore’s Disease)

It mostly occur in south pacific, Africa, India and the Middle East. People acquire the disease by inhaling dust contaminated by the bacteria and when the contaminated soil comes in contact with abraded area of the skin.

Melioidosis (Whitemore’s Disease) Sign and Symptoms

The effects can range from mild bronchitis to severe pneumonia. Fever, headache, loss of appetite, cough, chest pain and general muscle soreness. The effects can be localized to infection on the skin (cellulites) with associated fever and muscle aches. It can spread from the skin through the blood to become a chronic form of melioidosis affecting the heart, brain, liver, kidney, joints and eyes.

Investigations of Melioidosis (Whitemore’s Disease)

It is made with a microscopic evaluation of a blood, urine, and sputum or skin lesion sample in the laboratory.

Prevention of Melioidosis (Whitemore’s Disease)

Melioidosis occur in the people with compromised immune system (AIDS, cancer, chemotherapy) should avoid contact with soil and contaminated water especially in farm areas.

Prognosis of Melioidosis (Whitemore’s Disease)

Untreated, melioidosis is fatal. When treated with antibiotics, severe forms of the illness have 50% chance of recovery but overall the mortality rate is 40%.

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