The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday investigators found the same type of bacteria that causes the disease, melioidosis, in a spray bottle found in one of the patients’ homes. The four were from Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota and Texas. Two of them, including a child in Georgia, died.
The agency said it was performing tests to confirm whether the bacteria in the bottle is the same strain seen in all four patients. He previously said lab tests showed the four infections were closely related.
The spray found at the Georgian patient’s home was made in India. The genetic profile of the bacteria in the bottle is similar to that of strains usually found in South Asia, the agency said.
The contaminated product is labeled “Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones,” the CDC said. It was sold for US $ 4 at 55 Walmart stores and on the Walmart website from February and through Thursday.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Walmart issued a recall Friday for 3,900 bottles of spray in six scents. Authorities are investigating whether other fragrances and brands may pose a risk.
Melioidosis is rare in the United States, with about 12 cases reported each year. People can get it through direct contact with contaminated soil and water. The CDC has said the infection is treatable if caught early and treated properly.