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Lavender spray causing rare dangerous illness: Report

Lavender spray causing rare dangerous illness

Ground Report | New Delhi: Lavender spray; A lavender aromatherapy spray, imported from India and sold at Walmart last year, was contaminated with a deadly bacteria that led to four illnesses, including two deaths, according to a new report in TheNew England Journal of Medicine.

All four patients had used the lavender and chamomile scent of Better Homes & Gardens Essential Oil-Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones that had been imported from India and sold in 55 Walmart stores. The spray was manufactured by Flora Classique Inc. and sold under the Better Homes & Gardens brand.

What did all the spray bottles contain? A rare bacterium called Burkholderia pseudomallei causes a disease known as melioidosis. Melioidosis can cause joint pain, seizures, and fever and affect the heart, brain, lungs, and more.

The report comes after a multi-month CDC investigation of several unrelated cases. The CDC found a multistate outbreak of melioidosis, a rare infection caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, typically found in soil and water in tropical and subtropical environments in parts of South and Southeast Asia.

The study researchers said a five-year-old boy from Georgia was rushed to the hospital on July 12, 2021, and died four days later after experiencing a fever, vomiting, a swollen tongue and, later, a stroke.

He was diagnosed with COVID-19 after arriving at the hospital, but the study said his death is attributed to melioidosis and that the coronavirus infection likely exacerbated his symptoms.

But he did not improve and died within 4 days of hospitalization. An autopsy detected the coronavirus in her lungs and upper respiratory tract, but also found the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei in her lungs, liver, spleen and brain. The finding prompted an investigation.

The family said they had not travelled outside the country, so CDC investigators took samples of the water and soil outside the home, which returned no results. Since the bacteria can be aerosolized and inhaled, the researchers began testing dozens of products inside the home.

His autopsy detected coronavirus but also Burkholderia pseudomallei in the boy’s lungs, liver, spleen and brain. In another case, a 4-year-old girl in Texas exhibited vomiting and a high fever and was thought to have a urinary tract infection and was given antibiotics.

She later developed septic shock which causes her organs to shut down. The girl survived but she required a wheelchair and remained speechless after her hospitalization, according to the study.

According to the study, the other two patients were a man and a woman, both 53 years old. The male patient went to a Minnesota hospital for weakness and confusion in June 2021. While in the hospital, he developed a fever and experienced severe pain in his hip.

In late October, the CDC issued an alert on the aromatherapy spray, and days later the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a notice that Walmart would recall nearly 4,000 bottles of the product. The recall included lavender and chamomile scent, as well as lemon and tangerine, mint, lavender, lime and eucalyptus, and sandalwood and vanilla.

Walmart sold the products between February 2021 and October 2021 for around $4. The recall notice urged consumers to immediately stop using the product and not open the bottle. People who still have the spray should put the bottle in a zipper bag, place it in a small cardboard box, and return the product to a Walmart store.

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