Melioidosis is a condition that occurs when a person comes into touch with sure bacteria in inflamed water or soil.

Some medical experts also name this condition “Whitmore’s disease,” after the pathologist who first described it.

Although melioidosis is most not unusual in southeast Asia and northern Australia, several different countries have also said it, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Keep analyzing to learn greater approximately melioidosis, consisting of its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options.

What is melioidosis?

Melioidosis is rare in the United States. In fact, consistent with the CDC, there are around zero to five instances on an annual basis.

The circumstance can occur when a person comes into touch with the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, which exists in each soil and water.

Melioidosis diagnoses are normally in those who have traveled to a place outdoor of the U.S. where melioidosis occurs more commonly. Some examples of those areas include:

northern Australia
That being said, there are numerous other countries wherein human beings can come into touch with the bacterium and settlement melioidosis.

People with a chronic medical situation and people with susceptible immune structures have a better danger of melioidosis.

Some examples of these conditions include:

liver disease
kidney disease
persistent lung situations


Melioidosis can have an effect on human beings in exclusive ways, causing a wide range of symptoms.

Most people will experience the circumstance within 2–four weeks in their first exposure to the bacterium. However, it’s miles possible for a person to move years without experiencing any signs and symptoms.

A individual can settlement the bacterial infection that leads to melioidosis through exclusive regions of their body. Different signs can occur relying on the body area.

Some examples include:

Bloodstream infections

These may purpose the following signs:

respiratory problems
joint pain
belly pain
Localized skin infections

These may motive the following symptoms:

foul-smelling discharge from a wound
localized pain
ulcerated pores and skin appearance
Pulmonary infections

These may purpose the following symptoms:

chest pain
a lack of appetite
Multisystem, or septic, infections

These may purpose the following symptoms:

chest pain
joint pain
belly pain
weight loss
According to an article in the journal Nature Reviews Disease Primers, an envisioned 89,000 people die worldwide from melioidosis each year. When someone has a septic shape of melioidosis, mortality charges are as high as 90%.


A man or woman can get melioidosis when they come into contact with water or soil that contains the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei.

This can take place if someone:

comes into contact with contaminated soil, specially via skin cuts or abrasions
beverages contaminated water
inhales dust or water droplets
Human-to-human transmission is rare. However, it’s miles possible for someone to transmit the bacterium to another person.


Doctors can deal with melioidosis infections without delay and administer medicinal drugs and other treatments to reduce the signs and symptoms that the situation causes.

First, they will normally administer intravenous antibiotics, which include ceftazidime or meropenem, for 10–14 days.

After this time, the medical doctor will prescribe 3–6 months of oral antimicrobial medications. These consist of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid.

A individual should complete the overall prescribed remedy for melioidosis. This reduces the probability of the contamination returning.


A physician will diagnose melioidosis by asking a person about their signs and symptoms, thinking about their tour history, and undertaking a bodily examination.

Melioidosis infections can intently resemble other infections. These encompass pneumonia and tuberculosis.

A doctor can generally inform the difference by using collecting samples of the individual’s:


A laboratory technician will then “culture,” or smear, these specimens on petri dishes, where they will observe them for bacterial growth.

If a doctor suspects melioidosis, they will additionally order imaging studies. These consist of CT and MRI scans.

Doctors hardly ever use imaging studies for diagnosis, however they can be beneficial in figuring out the degree to which the situation has affected a person’s body. For example, melioidosis can motive abscesses to broaden at the liver, spleen, or lungs. These might be visible in imaging tests.

When to see a health practitioner

A individual have to see their health practitioner as soon as feasible in the event that they suspect that they have got melioidosis.

This is especially essential if someone has traveled to a country in which melioidosis is common, and where they’ll have come into contact with infected soil or water.


Several techniques exist to help lessen the risk of spreading and contracting melioidosis. These include:

constantly covering open wounds, especially when coming into touch with stagnant water and soil
carrying protective boots, with out a holes or rips, when working in soil and stagnant water
if working in a healthcare facility, taking the standard safety precautions, which includes with the aid of wearing a mask, gloves, and a gown
If someone at greater hazard of melioidosis — along with those with diabetes or a vulnerable immune system — is touring to a place wherein melioidosis is common, they need to talk to their health practitioner approximately other preventive hints and safety precautions.


Melioidosis is a circumstance that spreads thru getting into contact with bacteria in inflamed water or soil.

If a person suspects that they’ve melioidosis, they need immediately scientific attention.

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