According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a deadly bacteria has been found in an aromatherapy spray sold at more than 50 Walmart stores around the country. After the news broke, Walmart announced that it is pulling all stock of the said spray from 55 of its stores where it was stocked.
The deadly bacteria present in the said spray is named ‘Burkholderia pseudomallei’. It was found in the home of a Georgia resident who suffered from melioidosis in July. Investigation about whether the bacteria from the spray is the same in those affected with melioidosis is underway, including a resident each from Kansas, Texas, and Minnesota in addition to the one in Georgia.
“Our hearts go out to the families that have been impacted by this situation. We at CDC have been very concerned to see these serious related illness spread across time and geography.” Inger Damon, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, said while announcing the news.
She added, “That is why our scientists have continued to work tirelessly to try to find the potential source for the melioidosis infections in these patients. We hope this work can help protect other people who may have used this spray.”
Two out of four of the patients with the disease have passed away so far. Between February and October, 55 Walmart stores sold that product, for which we don’t have the sale numbers yet. It was a ‘Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil’ in Aromatherapy by ‘Better Homes and Gardens’.
Walmart pulled an additional 5 scents from the same product line for investigation. Annually, approximately 12 cases of Melioidosis are reported, making it severe but not widespread. Symptoms are similar to the common flu or cold. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 3900 units of the products have been recalled by Walmart. Other brands having similar contents or risks might get investigated as well.