The CDC recently issued a health advisory regarding three cases of Whitmore’s disease reported in Kansas, Minnesota and Texas.

The first one, identified in March 2021, was fatal. The CDC said genomic analysis indicated that the three patients may have shared a common source of exposure.

According to the alert, none of the patients’ families reported traveling outside the U.S. The CDC has confirmed that the 3 cases are not related to international travel.

What is Whitmore’s disease?

Whitmore’s disease, also called Melioidosis, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals. 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.

It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source. Melioidosis has a wide range of signs and symptoms. It can be mistaken for other diseases, such as pneumonia.

The common symptoms are: High fever, headache Skin ulceration, cough and chest pain. Treatment When a melioidosis infection is diagnosed, the disease can be treated with the use of appropriate medication. The type of infection and the course of treatment will impact long-term outcome. Treatment generally starts with intravenous (within a vein) antimicrobial therapy for a minimum of 2 weeks (up to 8 weeks depending on extent of infection), followed by 3–6 months of oral antimicrobial therapy.

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