A bacterial infection called Melioidosis, usually found in tropical settings, has killed two in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Yes, while the rest of the world has been focused on the Delta variant hysteria, new incidents of the rare tropical disease have snuck in through the back door, according to The Hill.
Melioidosis, sometimes called Whitmore's disease, is usually found in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. Bacteria can be found in "in contaminated waters and soils and spread within both animals and humans through contact with the contaminated source", the report says. It is most commonly spread through skin abrasions and ingestion.
The CDC has confirmed four cases in the U.S., with two of them being fatal. One case was in Kansas, another was in Georgia, a third was Texas. As a result, 100 soil and water samples were taken to test for the virus and none came back positive. No further information about the cases was released.
Public health officials have been left to attribute the virus to "an imported product or an ingredient found within an import, such as a food, beverage, cleaning product or medicine," The Hill wrote.
A CDC statement on Melioidosis cases said: "CDC is asking clinicians to watch for any acute bacterial infection that doesn’t respond to normal antibiotics and consider melioidosis – regardless of whether the patient traveled outside the United States. CDC also urges clinicians not to rule out melioidosis as a possible diagnosis in children and those who were previously healthy and without known risk factors for melioidosis."
"Although healthy people may get melioidosis, underlying medical conditions may increase the risk of disease," it continued. "The major risk factors are diabetes, liver or kidney disease, chronic lung disease, cancer or another condition that weakens the immune system. Most children who get melioidosis do not have risk factors. People experiencing cough, chest pain, high fever, headache or unexplained weight loss should see their doctor."