CDC finds a possible link to rare bacteria that sickened Texas girl

Keep in mind the 4-year-old Texas lady who was sickened with a mysterious, generally lethal, overseas micro organism not imagined to be in the USA?

A clue to the attainable supply of what may need contaminated Lylah Baker and three others with the uncommon micro organism has emerged in a brand new report by investigators from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention and state well being departments, which hyperlinks a 2019 case of Burkholderia pseudomallei an infection in Maryland to an merchandise within the sufferer’s house:

Her freshwater aquarium.

Whereas the genetic fingerprinting of the micro organism within the Maryland case would not match that of the unsolved 2021 U.S. outbreak, well being officers mentioned of their report, they’ve launched additional critiques of the pet retailer the place she bought the fish and its distributors.

Additionally value noting? Lylah had a pet fish that died in February. Her aunt advised USA TODAY over the summer season that investigators had been enthusiastic about testing the aquarium the place Lylah’s Betta fish had lived.

‘Docs are nonetheless shocked’:How did overseas micro organism depart a Texas lady with mind injury?

Lylah Baker suffered brain damage after being infected with deadly foreign bacteria that aren’t supposed to be sickening people in the United States.

The new report additionally urges medical doctors to contemplate melioidosis, the illness attributable to the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, when treating sufferers with related signs and identified publicity to aquariums. And it recommends that public well being officers ask about fish and aquariums when investigating instances of Burkholderia pseudomallei.

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Monitoring an elusive micro organism

Lylah and three others – all in numerous states and none with any obvious connection – fell sick this 12 months with melioidosis, the illness attributable to the uncommon bacterium. One of many difficulties in investigating these instances is that signs would possibly not develop for weeks, months and even years after publicity to Burkholderia pseudomallei.

The solely locations in the USA the place Burkholderia pseudomallei happens naturally are Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It’s imagined to be discovered primarily in Southeast Asia and northern Australia.

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This bacterium causes the illness melioidosis in humans.

Two of the 4 sufferers had no identified danger components for melioidosis. The CDC mentioned in August that two of the sufferers died, with out specifying which instances had been deadly. None had traveled to areas the place Burkholderia pseudomallei lives and grows.

The most recent report from well being officers raises considerations in regards to the potential for the illness to unfold within the USA on account of freshwater aquariums. Burkholderia pseudomallei infects people and animals by means of direct contact with contaminated soil and water. That’s the place it lives and grows.

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