Jul 13 2018
We’ve recently had a couple of reported cases of Melioidosis infection in the Onslow region. The infection is caused by a bacteria that is normally found below the ground surface, however heavy rain and flood waters can expose it to the upper environment.
The bacteria usually enters the body via cuts and sores in the skin, though it has been known to be contracted via inhalation of dust or droplets and ingestion of water. It does not usually spread from person to person.
Melioidosis can present in several different ways, and the onset can occur from a few days to months after exposure. Symptoms can include fever, cough, difficulty breathing or as blood poisoning with fever, confusion and shock. Treatment of melioidosis requires intensive antibiotic therapy.
There is no vaccine to prevent infection and the following precautions should be taken;
- Wear protective footwear when outdoors
- Wear gloves while working in the garden, on the farm etc
- Cover abrasions and sores with waterproof dressings
- Wash thoroughly (preferably shower) after exposure to soil or muddy water, and after working outdoors
For further information about Melioidosis please review the fact sheet.