Melioidosis (Whitemore’s Disease)

1)What is Melioidosis?

It 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.

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2)What are the symptoms of Melioidosis?

  • cough with normal sputum (the mixture of saliva and mucus that can rise into the throat from coughing) or no sputum, called a nonproductive cough.
  • chest pain during breathing.
  • high fever.
  • headache and general muscle soreness.
  • weight loss.

3)Is Melioidos contagious?  

It is a highly contagious disease primarily infecting people in areas with agriculture and farming.Individuals can become infected with the bacterium primarily through direct contact with contaminated soil or water. Person to person transmission is rare.

4)Where is Melioidosis found?

The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil.

5)How Melioidosis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of the disease is made with a microscopic evaluation of a blood, urine, sputum, or skin-lesion sample in the laboratory. A blood test is useful to detect early acute cases of the infectious disease, but it cannot exclude the illness if it is negative.

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